Monday, April 7, 2014

Two by Schorr on Water Law

David Schorr, Tel Aviv University Buchmann Faculty of Law, has recently posted two papers on SSRN.  The first is Reform of Water Rights in Mandate Palestine, which is forthcoming in Water History.  Here is the abstract:
This article surveys the water law of Palestine under British rule, identifying the legal norms governing the use of water and explaining some of the factors shaping the development of this area of the law. It argues that despite their lack of official lawmaking power, Arabs and Jews succeeded in decisively shaping the course taken by water law in this period.

After surveying the Ottoman water law in force when the British took power in 1917, the article examines influential court decisions in a case brought by the Arab residents of the village Artas against government expropriation of water, and explains the significance of this litigation for the subsequent development of Palestine's water law. It then turns to British initiatives meant to reform water law and subject the country's water to state control, plans frustrated by the opposition of Zionist groups fearful of increased government regulation. It closes by noting that water law was made in this colonial context neither by imposition from above nor by resistance from below, but by intervention of subject peoples at the highest levels of official lawmaking.
The second is Riparian Rights in Lower Canada and Canada East: Inter-Imperial Legal Influences.  Here is the abstract:
The development of the law of riparian rights in the Anglo-American world in the nineteenth century has been analyzed from several points of view, including economic property theory and Marxian legal history. Transnational aspects of the subject have not been neglected, as some have highlighted the transatlantic framework in which this body of doctrine developed, and others have examined the use of Continental, civil law sources by some of the American jurists responsible for that development. Yet the inter-imperial aspect of this story, in particular the meeting of the laws of the British and French Empires, has gone unremarked.

This paper examines the crossed histories of English common law, French civil law, and American law in the jurisprudence of water rights in Lower Canada/Canada East/Quebec in the mid-nineteenth century, and the influence of this jurisprudence on the developing water law of the British Empire.

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