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Title: The Cowboy, the Southern Man, and the Man from Snowy River: The Symbolic Politics of Property in Australia, the United States, and New Zealand
Contributor(s): Brower, Ann (author); Page, John Douglas (author); Kennedy, Amanda L  (author); Martin, Paul  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2009
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Abstract: In short, we offer four observations about the law and politics of property in land: (1) there is no distinct line between law and politics, so to understand property, legal scholars must understand the politics of self-interest and advocacy; (2) several streams of political and economic theory suggest that advocacy from private, self-interested parties will be more forceful and more effective than advocacy from publicly-motivated parties and the state; (3) in each of our three case studies, the effective use of three almost identical rhetorical strategies meant that the state granted claimants more privileges than they were legally entitled to; (4) while a porous boundary between law and societal norms makes for a responsive and up-to-date legal system, if jurists, legislators, and bureaucrats are not mindful of the political and economic theory described herein the law will inadvertently benefit a self-interested, strategic few at the expense of the many. ... In Part IV, we compare the law and politics of three disputes between "I want and am entitled to graze cattle in this publicly-owned land" and "we don't want grazing and you're not entitled" in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. ... Hage entered the lecture circuit with a message encouraging other federal lands ranchers to assert their private rights in public lands via water interests and to challenge public authority over public land. ... The Crown appears to pay what the lessee wants the Crown to pay-regardless of property formalities. . ... Whilst New Zealand lessees' claims have rested upon the premise that leasehold is the moral/economic equivalent of freehold, Australian licensees' claims about their rights when their licenses are not renewed draw less heavily on legal terminology. ... Graziers' claims attempt to transform a historic entitlement into an enduring and compensable right by resting on "historic" rights of access created under the license. ... Illustrating the sentiment that the licenses were rights that were wrongfully revoked, the President of the Mountain Cattleman's Association of Victoria, Doug Treasure, notes that "these protest cattle drives and heritage rides will continue each year until we get our leases back , which were taken last year." ... They note that the cattlemen "provide information through their links with fire control agencies on fire fuel conditions" and that cattle "reduce the amount of fuel available for fire and therefore must have an impact in the reduction in the intensity of fire," which should in turn justify the renewal of their licenses.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 21(3), p. 455-493
Publisher: Georgetown International Environmental Law Review
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1042-1858
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 180124 Property Law (excl Intellectual Property Law)
180119 Law and Society
180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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