Division 3: Private Law -- Five ways to acquire property

Chapter 1: First way of acquiring Property: Occupation

We formerly explained the nature of rights, and divided them into natural and acquired.

Property is acquired five ways.

We shall first treat of occupation, the laws of which vary according to the periods of human society. The four stages of society are hunting, pasturage, farming, and commerce.

The first thing that requires notice in occupation among hunters is what constitutes it, and when it begins, whether it be on the discovery of the wild beast or after it is actually in possession.

Among shepherds the idea of property is further extended.


Chapter 2: Second way of acquiring Property: Accession

The right of accession is not so much founded in its utility as in the impropriety of not joining it to that object on which it has a dependence.

The principal dispute concerning accession is, when does the principal belong to me, and the accession to another, or, if they be mixed, to whom does the whole belong?

Chapter 3: Third way of acquiring Property: Prescription

Prescription is founded on the supposed attachment of the possessor to what he has long been possessed of, and the supposed detachment of affection in the old possessor to what has been long out of his possession.

A iustus titulusis a proof of bona fides,and bona fides is requisite to a iustus titulus.

  • Kings seldom ever allow their claims to prescribe, at least they account no length of uninterrupted possession sufficient to do it.
  • However, immemorial possession will ever carry this along with it.

  • Next: Chapter 4