First of all, what do we mean by ownership? The term originated from English Parlance in the 14th century. It is a concept used in describing the relationship between a person and a thing. Ownership was conceived in order to give effect to the meaning and to the expressions of “mine” and “thine”.
Ownership (Property) Theories
These are concerned with the various views which different schools of thought have held about ownership and they span the period from the classical times through the middle ages up to the modern time. Broadly they could be grouped in two.
The Social theories and The Judicial theories.
Social theories are theories of social philosophers. They include; the natural or civil right theory, church theory, acquisitive theory by Samuel Pufendorf, the labour theory by John Locke, the wage theory by J.S Mill, the utility theory by Jeremy Bentham, the personal liberty theory by Hegel and the Historical theory.
Judicial theories of property concerned themselves solely with the meaning or true import, “property right” of ownership”. The two main opposing views in this regard comes from the following 2 Judicial systems;
1. Under the civil code and 2. Under common law.
Land And Ownership
Land means different things to different people the world over, due to differences in circumstances which are mainly cultural and Judicial in nature. This the true meaning of land can only be fully understood in the light of 6 concepts as propounded by Prof. J. A. Umeh, namely;
A. The physical concept
B. Socio-political concept
C. Spiritual concept
D. Economic concept
E. Legal concept
F. Abstract concept.
Characteristics Of Land
Land is a resource of primary importance in the economy of any country, whether in its natural form or as manipulated by the hands of man, through improvement/developments of any kind. The deferring characteristics of land have a significant bearing on the manner in which decisions can be made about the use of land. The characteristics can be summarized thus:
1. Land appreciates in value
2. There is a relative fixity of supply on land
4. No cost of creation
5. Land market e.t.c.
I will stop here for today, hope you all enjoyed the lecture for today. We shall talk about “Rights and Interest in Land” when next I publish my article. Thanks for reading.