Private Property and Abuse of Rights in Victorian England: The Story of Edward Pickles and the…

Hardcover | October 1, 2002

byMichael Taggart

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The leading case of The Mayor, Alderman and Burgesses of the Borough of Bradford v Pickles was the first to establish the principle that it is not unlawful for a property owner to exercise his or her property rights maliciously and to the detriment of others or the public interest. Thoughcontroversial at the time, today it is often invisible and taken for granted. This book explores why the common law, in contrast to civil law systems, developed in this way.During the industrial revolution, the town of Bradford, and with it the demand for water for industrial and domestic purposes, grew rapidly. The first part of the book explores, through an analysis of correspondence, records, and newspaper reports, the development of the Bradford water supply andthe genesis of the dispute that ultimately flared into litigation at the end of the nineteenth century.Several aspects of the case are of enduring doctrinal importance 100 years on. The controversial and potent common law principle of interpreting statutes so as to protect property rights wherever possible is examined in depth, as is the legal uncertainty of subterranean water rights in thenineteenth century. Finally the book attempts to explain the common lawyers' refusal to recognize a Continental-style doctrine of abuse of rights and the courts' failure to develop a prima face tort doctrine to curb maliciously inspired behaviour.

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From the Publisher

The leading case of The Mayor, Alderman and Burgesses of the Borough of Bradford v Pickles was the first to establish the principle that it is not unlawful for a property owner to exercise his or her property rights maliciously and to the detriment of others or the public interest. Thoughcontroversial at the time, today it is often i...

Michael Taggart is Professor of Law at The University of Auckland. He studied law at the University of Auckland and Harvard University. He has taught law at the University of Auckland since 1982. Before that he taught at the University of Western Ontario and has visited Queen's University, Canada, the University of Saskatchewen, the U...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:260 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.78 inPublished:October 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019925687X

ISBN - 13:9780199256877

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Table of Contents

PrefaceGlossaryResearch NoteNotes to IllustrationsTable of CasesPrologue1. Bradford and its Water Supply2. Coal, Stone and Water and Many Wells Farm3. To Court4. Property and Statutory Interpretation5. Property and Water6. Abuse of Rights7. Malice and the Law of TortsEpilogue: Pickles and the Public/Private Law DivideSelect BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

""...an enlightening study. It is a tour de force of legal forensics and analysis, always intelligent and highly readable even when dealing with some remarkably complex legal doctrine" Modern Law Review, September 2003