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发表于:2012-01-29 08:39:51
财产法(中英文对照)

The Law of Property财产法

  The old common law1 was preeminently the law of real property; and the distinction between “real property” and “personal property3” was a crucial one.
  Generally speaking, real property means real estate -1and and buildings —— but it also includes such things as growing crops. Everything else —— money, stocks and bonds, jewelry, cars, carloads of lumber, IOUs, bank deposits- is personal property. We all have a stake in real estate, since we all live somewhere; and we work, study, and travel somewhere, too. Everyone is a renter or an owner, or lives with renters or owners. But for most of us, that as far as the law is concerned the word property means primarily real property; personal property is of minor importance.
  Actually, personal property is legally a minor field. There is no single, special field of law devoted to personal property. Personal property is what contract law, commercial law, and bankruptcy law —— yes, and torts, too —— are all about. But there are so many special rilles about real estate that it makes sense to treat this as a separate field of law.
  Property law is still one of the fundamental branches of law, and real estate is a significant branch of law practice. Yet property law is a mere shadow of its former self, legal speaking. In fact, one of the major developments in our system, if you take the long view, is the relative decline of real property law. In medieval England, it would have only been a slight exaggeration to say that land law was the law of the land. When Blackstone published his “Commentaries” midway through the eighteenth century, one whole volume was devoted to land law. A modern Blackstone would shrink the topic to a fraction of this bulk —— 5 or 10 percent, at most, of the total law.
  Medieval England lived under a feudal system. Power and jurisdiction —— the cornerstones of wealth and position in society were based on land and land alone. The “lord” was a person who held an estate —— a person with ownership, mastery, control over land. A person without land was a person with no real stake in affairs of state. The common law, as the royal law courts expounded it had little to say to men and women without land, who were the majority of the English population. In America, at one time, only persons who had interests in land were entitled to vote or hold office. The New York constitution of 1777, for example, restricted the right to vote for state senators to men who owned “freeholds” with $100 or more, free and clear of debt (Article X) all this, of course, has ended; land is only one form of wealth. A great and powerful family is one that controls mighty enterprises, rather than one that rules vast estates.
  Property law still covers a rich and varied group of subject. To begin with, it asks. What does it mean to “own” land? How can I get title to land and how can I dispose of it legally? There are issues about deeds, joint ownership, and land records and registration; and problems of land finance, including rules about mortgages and foreclosures. There is the law of “nuisance”, which restricts me from using my land in such a way as to hurt my neighbors, pouring smoke or sending bad smells onto his land, for example. There are the law of “easements” and the exotic law of “covenants” (especially those that “run with the land”): these deal with rights a person might have in his neighbor's land —— rights to drive a car up his driveway, to walk across his lawn, or to keep him from taking in boarders. These are not rights of ownership; rather they are “servitudes” —— restrictions or exceptions to the owner's rights, in favor of those another.
  The common law was ingenious in carving up rights to land into various complex segments called “estates”。 These could be either time segments or space segments. A “life estate” (my right to live in a certain house, for example, until I die), is a time segment; so is a three-year lease of a farm or apartment house. Space segments include air rights (the right to build on top of certain property) and mineral rights (the right to dig underneath it)。 Nowadays, the condominium is also popular; I can own a slice of some building thirty stories above the ground. The common law was also quite ingenious in devising forms of common or joint ownership, with subtle technical differences between them.
  There are also all sorts of “future interests” known to the common law. Suppose I leave my house to my sister for life, and then to any of her children who might be alive when she dies. The children have a future interest; that is, the time they will get the house is postponed to some far-off date. But the future event is certain to happen, and thus the future interest can have value and reality now, while my sister is very much alive. The law of future interests developed in a most gnarled and complicated way. Its intricacies drove generations of law students to despair.
  Another important, fairly new, branch of property law is the law of “land use controls”。 It deals with the limit imposed on what people can do with their property. This was an issue in the law of nuisance, but modern controls go far beyond this. Zoning is a familiar type of land use restriction. Zoning ordinances date from about the time of the First World War; they are now almost universal in cities and villages. Zoning ordinances divide towns into zones designated for different uses. If my neighborhood is “zoned” residential, I cannot build a factory or run a restaurant on my property. If the zone is restricted to single-family dwellings, I cannot even run a rooming house or rent out apartments.
  译文
  旧的英美法最杰出的部分是对不动产的规定,而且其关键是区别了不动产与动产。总的说来,不动产是指房地产——土地和建筑物,但它也包括诸如正在生长的农作物之类的东西。其余的东西——金钱、股票和债券、珠宝、汽车、货车所载的木材、借据、银行存款——是动产。在房产方面我们有共同利益,因为我们都住在某个地方,我们也在某地工作、学习和旅游。每个人都是出租人或所有人,或与出租人、所有人住在一起。但是对我们大多数人来说,动产和不动产是两回事。虽然看上去有点怪,但就法律而言,单词“财产”主要是指不动产,动产是次要的。
  确实,动产在法律上是次要的领域。没有一个单一的、专门的部门法是专用于动产的。动产是合同法商法破产法还有侵权法等涉及到的问题。但是关于不动产却有很多专门的法规,所以完全可以把它看作一个单独的法律领域。
  财产法仍然是基本的部门法之一,而不动产是法律实务的一个重要分支。从法律上讲,财产法仅是其前身的翻版。事实上,如果从长远看,我们的法律制度的主要发展之一就是不动产法的相对衰落。在中世纪的英国,将土地法称为土地的法律也只是稍微有点夸张。当布莱克斯通在18世纪中叶发表他的《英格兰法释义》时,其中整整一卷是阐述土地法的。现代版的布莱克斯通《英格兰法释义》将此内容压缩至一小部分,最多占整个法律的5%或10%。
  中世纪的英国生活在封建制度下,权力与司法权——这个显示社会财富和地位的标志是完全建立在拥有土地之上的。“封建领主”是拥有地产的人,他拥有土地的所有权、处分权和控制权。没有土地的人在国家事务中也没有真正的相关利益。在英美法中,正如皇室法院所阐述的,没有土地的男人和女人是没有发言权的,而这些人占了英国人口的绝大多数。在美国,曾经有一段时间,只有对土地有相关利益的人才有资格选举或任公职。如1777年的纽约宪法规定拥有100美元以上的不动产、没有债务的人才有资格当选为州参议员(第10条)。当然,所有这些已经结束。土地只是财富的一种形式。富有的家族是那些控制大企业。的,而不是控制大量地产的家族。
  财产法还涵盖了一组丰富而不同的主题。开始讨论之前,先问几个问题:“拥有”土地指什么?如何能获得土地的所有权以及如何合法地处分它?有些问题是关于契约、共同所有权、土地档案和注册,以及土地金融问题的,包括抵押和取消抵押品赎回权规则。“妨害行为”法限制所有权人用下列方法使用他的土地,如伤害他的邻居、将烟雾或难闻的气味喷放到他人的土地上。有规定“在他人土地上的通行权”法和外国的“契约”法(尤其是那些经营土地的):这些法规规定人们在邻居土地上可能有的权利——开车驶过他的车道、穿越他的草坪或阻止他接收寄宿人的权利。这些不是所有权,而是地役权——有利于他人对所有人权利的限制或例外。
  英美法将土地权巧妙地分割成多个复杂的所谓“地产”的部分。这些可以是时间部分或空间部分。“终身地产”(如我住在某间房子直到我死的权利)是一个时间部分,对农场或公寓的三年出租也是时间部分。空间部分包括空间所有权(在某个财产之上造房子的权利)和采矿权(在地下挖掘的权利)。目前,共同拥有也是很流行的,我可以拥有30层楼的部分房屋。英美法在设计公共或共有所有权的形式上是非常灵活的,两者间在法律意义上有微妙的差异。
  对于英美法还有各种众所周知的“未来权益”。假如我将我的房子终身留给我妹妹,然后她死后留给她活着的任何孩子。孩子们有未来权益,也就是说,他们得到房子的时间将被推迟到某个遥远的日期。但是未来的事件是肯定要发生的,因而未来权益现在是有价值并且现实的,虽然我妹妹还活着。未来权益法的发展形式多样、错综复杂。它的纷繁难懂曾使几代法学院学生绝望。
  财产法的另一个重要而又非常新的分支是“土地使用控制”法。它应对的是强行限制人们处置其财产的权利。这是一个“妨害行为”法的问题,但现代的控制已远远超过了这些,区域划定是人人皆知的土地使用限制的类型。区域划定法令起源于第一次世界大战,如今几乎在城市和乡村普遍使用。区域划定法令将城镇划分为确定不同用途的地区。如果我的街坊是被划定为居民区,我就不能在我的财产上建造工厂或开饭店。如果这个区域限定为家庭居住区,我甚至不能经营旅馆或出租公寓。
 
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发表于:2012-03-14 19:11:09
The Law of Property

 
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