DOI: 10.5176/2251-3809_LRPP13.22

Authors: Louis de REDON

Since 1789, France has considered private property as a fundamental right as defined in the Declaration of Human Rights. The owner is considered as an absolute despot over his property. The sources of such relentless law have to be found in the Roman Law from the Second Century. It has been established as a reaction to the Monarchist ancient system criticized by the philosophers of the Great Century. The monarchist system was based on commons to be shared by all the people according to their needs and on a double-domain. The double domain was divided between an eminent domain hold by a nobleman and a utile domain used by different vassals according to their needs. The nobleman through is eminent power was organizing the use of the land between the people according to the needs of the feudal society. Today, Law is stepping forward from the Roman and Revolutionary absolute right of property. Absolute landlords may not over-exploit natural resources without considering needs of the future generations. According to the new environmental challenges of our modern societies set at the First Earth Summit of Stockholm in 1973, French State organizes a new economy based on sustainable development. To achieve this compelling interest, laws after laws, decrees after decrees, the powers of the landlords over their property are diminished and new commons, as natural reserves for example, are created. The question is now whether we are silently and discreetly moving back to the previous law system with the creation of ecological commons and the restoration of an eminent domain centered on environmental protection hold by public authorities. If so, then the fundamental private property right is in danger and democracies should ask themselves how to conciliate the imperative of environmental protection with Human Rights.

Biodiversity, Constitutional Rights, Eminent Domain, Environmental Law, Human Rights, Monetary compensation, Ownership, Private Property, Sustainable Development

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