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Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law

Borkowski's Textbook on Roman Law (6th edn)

Paul J. du Plessis
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date: 28 May 2024

p. 1817. Acquiring Ownershiplocked

p. 1817. Acquiring Ownershiplocked

  • Paul J. du PlessisPaul J. du PlessisProfessor of Roman Law, University of Edinburgh, School of Law


This chapter discusses the acquisition of ownership in Roman law. It covers derivative modes of acquiring ownership; original modes of acquiring ownership; and gifts. The methods of acquiring ownership inter vivos can be classified in a number of ways. For example, some methods can be described in modern civilian systems as ‘original’—where the acquisition of ownership did not depend on there being a prior owner—whereas others were derivative, i.e. where ownership was derived from a prior owner. Or some methods were formal, others causal: in the former case ownership passed because of the use of particular form and ceremony, whereas in the latter case ownership depended on the ground or ‘cause’ of the acquisition.

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