The elusive concept of property leads to the difficulty of defining what is property, and thus creates complexity for courts to use the concept of property as an analytical tool for deciding cases.2 In this paper I will discuss a frequently cited concept of property - the 'bundle of rights' theory of property formulated by theorist Wesley Hohfeld3 and complimented by theorist A.M. Honore4 and assess whether or not property is a bundle of rights. Section I of this paper will examine the difficulty of defining property and the sources of its elusiveness. Section II will examine what the 'bundle of rights' theory is and how property can be seen as a 'bundle of rights'. Section III will examine how the 'bundle of rights' theory is limited in defining the concept of property. Section IV will examine the effect that conflicting conceptions of property have on court decisions about property. Specifically I will use three cases to illustrate the effects of differing conceptions of property - Yanner5, Wily6 and Moore7.
Wesley Comb Hohfeld described property as a bundle of rights. Hohfeld presents us with an analytical framework that splits rights into four different jural relationships. The main aim of his schema is to present an analytical description of rights. ...Show more