Use of Water: Article 3.43 new Belgian Property Code and the transgenerational protection of common goods
PhD student: Mrs F. Vavourakis
Promotor: Prof V. Sagaert
Duration: 1/9/2021 - 31/8/2025
The new Property Code came into force on 1 September 2021. Noteworthy is the new article 3.43 on common objects and goods without an owner. It states in its first paragraph: 'The common objects cannot be appropriated in their entirety. They belong to no one and are used in the common interest, including the interest of future generations.
Their use is common to all and is regulated by special laws.' Through its allusion to the doctrine of 'the commons' in international law and the (environmental) sciences, more specifically the transgenerational importance of certain goods, the article shows its potential for promoting sustainability ideas in Belgian property law. In this sense, one might think that the article reflects a deliberate choice of the legislator, but the parliamentary preparation suggests otherwise. The article was unexpectedly present at the birth of the new property law. This immediately raises the
question of the extent to which the article will have enforceable, legal effects and what the added value of its insertion is. The search for a sustainable property law is a major challenge today, not only in Belgium, but worldwide. A study of commons therefore requires legal comparison. In addition, the issue cannot be answered by lawyers alone. A second methodological 'must' is therefore an openness towards other sciences. My research will focus on the use of water as a common.