Land reform and the common good
PhD student: Mr M. Arthur
Promotors: Mrs Dr J. Robbie, F. McCarthy
Duration: 2/10/2017 - 1/10/2020
Land reform programs are often promoted as the conduit for implementing social justice measures and furthering the Common Good. However, the controversy and stated ambitions of land reform measures are often not matched by the necessary legal analysis of the reforms. Such analysis is vital to secure the coherence and effectiveness of the resulting reforms. Re-distribution of land to increase the diversity of landowners raises many important legal questions which need to be urgently addressed given the speed at which land reform measures are being implemented globally. This PhD thesis will investigate the theoretical principles which should underlie land reform by drawing on the work of legal philosophers and theories on property to examine how these relate to the land reform agenda and the concept of the common good. This will comprise answering questions such as: what is common good in the context of land reform?; what is the relationship between the common good and established concepts of property?; and what is the appropriate body to determine the common good? Due to the on-going land reform measures being implemented as well as the great potential for impact, the thesis will use Scotland as its primary jurisdiction for examination. It will also undertake a comparative analysis of other jurisdictions, such as South Africa, where land reform measures have been implemented, to determine the various models for land reform, what measures were used to achieve it and what lessons which can be learned from the global land reform movement. Using the comparative and theoretical analysis, the thesis would aim to provide coherent normative principles for the land reform agenda applicable to variety of jurisdictions as well as suggesting concrete recommendations for future reform in Scotland in accordance with these principles.