As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the final agenda for the 2016 Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Conference has been released. Here's the complete conference brochure, which has all the details, including registration information.
This is the annual program, sponsored by the William and Mary Law School, in which there's a day-long discussion of all things property rights among members of the academy, the bench, and the practicing bar. The Brigham-Kanner Prize is also presented "to an individual whose work has advanced the cause of property rights and has contributed to the overall awareness of the important role property rights occupy in the broader scheme of individual liberty." The pantheon of prizewinners is a who's-who in our area of law: Richard Epstein, James Ely, Michael Berger, Frank Michelman, Carol Rose, and Thomas Merrill, to name a few. Here's the complete list of prizewinners.
This year, the prize is being presented to Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, the President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, and the venue is again going international: we'll be in The Hague, Netherlands, at the Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice. It's also very appropriate for a conference on property rights to be sponsored by the alma mater of Hugo Grotius, Leiden University.
This is the second time in the Conference's 13-year history that it is being held outside of the United States (actually, outside of Williamsburg, Virginia). In 2011, the Conference was held at Tsinghua University Law School in Beijing.
The program is two full days of presentations and discussions on subjects like "Land Titling, Inclusion, and the Role of Property Rights in Secure Societies, "Recognizing and Protecting Cultural Property," "Property, Equality, and Freedom," "Rising Seas and Private Property," "Property Rights as Defined and Protected by International Courts," and "Eminent Domain and Expropriation as Wealth Redistribution Tools."
We'll be speaking on two panels:
Panel 3: Property’s Role in the Fundamental Political Structure of NationsFor centuries, the debate over the role of property in the fundamental political structure of nations has centered on property’s relationship to individual liberty and core societal values. In nations that trace their roots to English law, the debate extends back to the Magna Carta, which delineated the boundaries between fundamental individual freedoms and government power. Hernando de Soto’s work has renewed the debate on the world stage, emphasizing the centrality of strong property rights to democratic capitalism and connecting the increase in global terrorism to the weak property rights of the poor majority found in many countries. Panel 3 examines these positions, focusing in particular on the transferability of property concepts to the political structure of nations with diverse cultures, norms, and traditions.
And, we're also on another panel:
Panel 6: Defining and Protecting Property Rights in Intangible AssetsIntangible assets are important to both mature and developing economies. Whether those assets involve innovative ideas, intellectual property, technological or medical advances, security interests, finance capital, or other new assets, intangible assets raise unique issues for property systems. How well do laws governing real or tangible property transfer to intangible assets? What special problems do intangible assets pose for the development and management of property rights? This panel addresses these and other questions relating to property rights in intangible resources from national and international perspectives.
Even though this is heady stuff, the speakers are a mix of legal scholars and practicing lawyers, so we will, as usual, keep it grounded. If past Conferences are any indication, this will be a robust and frank discussion of the role of property rights and how and whether they are respected.
We know it is a long way to go for a legal conference, but we're hoping you can attend. Northern Europe in the fall is a nice place (the throngs of tourists are gone), the company is good, and the subject matter is even better.