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Articles on Property rights

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The Ingonyama Trust has been accused of illegal practices in rural villages in KwaZulu-Natal. Hoberman Collection/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Zulu land dispute: Ingonyama Trust furore highlights the problem of insecure land tenure for millions of South Africans in rural areas

Land disputes arise when the fundamental principles of customary law are breached. The breach can be at the hands of the state or its representatives.
Many ecologically important wetlands, like these in Kulm, N.D., lack surface connections to navigable waterways. USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr

The Supreme Court just shriveled federal protection for wetlands, leaving many of these valuable ecosystems at risk

In Sackett v. EPA, a suit filed by two homeowners who filled in wetlands on their property, the Supreme Court has drastically narrowed the definition of which wetlands qualify for federal protection.
Wetlands like this one in California’s Morro Bay Estuary shelter fish, animals and plants and help control flooding. Citizen of the Planet/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Which wetlands should receive federal protection? The Supreme Court revisits a question it has struggled in the past to answer

The Supreme Court opens its 2022-2023 session with a high-profile case that has major implications for both wildlife and landowners.
DNA is a trove of personal information that can be hard to keep track of and protect. Boris Zhitkov/Moment via Getty Images

Genetic paparazzi are right around the corner, and courts aren’t ready to confront the legal quagmire of DNA theft

Both Macron and Madonna have expressed concerns about genetic privacy. As DNA collection and sequencing becomes increasingly commonplace, what may seem paranoid may instead be prescient.
A satellite captured large and small deforestation patches in Amazonas State in 2015. The forest loss has escalated since then. USGS/NASA Landsat data/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The great Amazon land grab – how Brazil’s government is clearing the way for deforestation

Land grabs spearheaded by wealthy interests are accelerating deforestation, and Brazil’s National Congress is working to legitimize them.
Nothing demonstrates our reliance on each other like a highly contagious disease. Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 upended Americans’ sense of individualism and invited us to embrace interconnectedness – an idea from Greek philosopher Epicurus

A British literature scholar explains how philosopher John Locke’s theory of selfhood will not help the pandemic recovery, if individuals fail to see themselves as interconnected.
Young Sandi Sile on an abandoned structure in Makhanda, South Africa, in 2013. Questions remain about how the new law will treat abandoned land. Getty Images

South Africa has another go at an expropriation law. What it’s all about

The proposed new law has a long history. The country has been trying for almost 12 years now to come up with expropriation legislation that is in line with the constitution.
U.S. President Donald Trump welcomes Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to the White House on May 13, 2019. Strongmen like Orbán are increasingly gaining ground as the death knell sounds for liberal democracy. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Are we witnessing the death of liberal democracy?

Liberal democracy is in trouble, and the seeds of its demise can be found in the property rights so cherished by so-called liberals generations ago.

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