An Assessment of the Meaning and Context of Ownership and the Role of the Legal System in its Determination: Prospects and Challenges


  • Vivian Chinelo ARINZE Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria,


Ownership, System, Legal, Context, Meaning, Determination, Role


Paramount to every functional legal system is the term ‘Ownership’. That is, ownership in terms
of; What ownership rights are? How they are acquired? What can be owned? Who owns what?
How each legal system determines the type of ownership rights prevailing in each state and
finally the limitations to the ownership rights? No jurisdiction functions effectively without
defining clearly the ownership rights of the state. This paper aims at assessing the meaning and
context of ownership and how it is justified by the respective legal systems. The methodology is
doctrinal with primary and secondary sources on international law cases, statutes, textbooks,
journals, articles, and online materials. The research found that property rights prevalent in a
particular legal system are fixed by the legislature of the particular jurisdiction. The basic norm
of each jurisdiction usually concluded how property are owned by the state and the individuals.
The work equally observed that some legal systems based property rights on Private Ownership
(Capitalism), State Ownership (Socialism), Communal Ownership (Communalism), Welfare
State Ownership (Welfarism), Personal Ownership (Feudalism) etc. These types of ownership
rights are ascertained by the law makers of each jurisdiction and decisions made on which to
adopt for practice. The article concludes that ownership is an indispensable instrument of pol and
social regulation which has played vital role in the society and different legal systems observe
different ownership rights where the variation in styles depend on the historical and policy
considerations of each legal system.

Author Biography

Vivian Chinelo ARINZE, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria,

Vivian Chinelo ARINZE, LL.M, B.L, Lecturer, Department of Commercial and Property Law, Faculty of Law,
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.