First published in 1999, this is the first of two books based on papers given at the conference organised by the Centre for Property Law at Reading in March 1998 under the title ‘Contemporary Issues in Property Law’. Speakers represented jurisdictions from around the world. Their subjects ranged from the theoretical and jurisprudential to the severely practical. No one who attended the conference – or subsequently reads the papers in this and the following book, Property Law: Current Issues and Debates – can believe in the picture of property law as archetypical, dry as dust, black letter, law. Questions of human rights, changes in social structures, technological developments are all shown to have their impact on property law, calling for careful analysis of the present law and practical proposals for reforms to reflect new developments.