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Article
Legal Castles in the Sand: The Evolution of Property Law, Culture, and Ecology in Coastal Lands
Syracuse Law Review (2010)
  • Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold
Abstract
This article argues that courts should shape property doctrines and decide takings cases with regard for the concrete context in which those doctrines and cases arise, particularly ecological and socio-cultural dynamics. A strong theory of judicial takings, just like many sweeping and aggressive protections of private property autonomy and power, is likely to over-protect private property. However, a weak theory of judicial takings, just like many sweeping and aggressive protections of government or public authority and power, is likely to under-protect private property. In both cases, serious harms to both ecological health and integrity and socio-cultural health and integrity are likely, even if the specific harms vary. The issue is not resistance to change versus unconstrained and rapid change. Instead, the issue is about identifying and facilitating change that is right for and adaptive to the particular evolving context in which the tensions over property interests, land uses, and legal institutions arise. In particular, the object-regarding and context-considering concept of property as a “web of interests” is likely to be more adaptive to change within complex and interconnected ecological and social systems, particularly in sensitive environments like coastal lands, than property concepts that rely on legal-centric abstractions.
Keywords
  • judicial takings,
  • property theory,
  • property rights,
  • web of interests,
  • coastal lands,
  • land use,
  • legal evolution,
  • ecology,
  • public trust,
  • takings,
  • nuisance,
  • beach erosion,
  • beach nourishment
Publication Date
2010
Citation Information
Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold. "Legal Castles in the Sand: The Evolution of Property Law, Culture, and Ecology in Coastal Lands" Syracuse Law Review Vol. 61 Iss. 2 (2010)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/anthony_arnold/20/