Property, Information and Institutional Design

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First Nations, First Nations Land Rights, Community Property Laws, Drafting Laws, Legal Reform, First Nations Self-Governance


First Nations in Canada confront a growing menu of property law options on their reserve and treaty lands. Some of these options recognize substantial community autonomy to develop localized property institutions that differ noticeably from existing statutory and common law regimes outside those communities. First Nations' emerging choices over their property institutions, however, are considerably more complex than perennial debates about private-individual versus communal rights would tend to suggest. One way to embrace that complexity is to investigate the quality and quantity of information generated through and conveyed by localized property systems. This perspective usefully moves the conversation about property law and institutional design beyond unhelpful binaries, by raising the following questions: How much precision should First Nations strive to achieve when they codify community property laws and what kinds of information should these laws seek to convey? How broadly and to what audiences?


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