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A History of Water Rights at Common Law


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations Table of Cases Table of Legislation Regnal Years Introduction 1: The Exploitation of Water in Historical Perspective 2: Servitude Doctrine in Early Law 3: The Common Law of Riparian Rights 1580-1700 4: Blackstone and Hale's Doctrines of Land and Water Use 5: Appropriation Theory in the Courts 6: The Modern Origins of the Riparian Doctrine Conclusion Bibliography Index

Promotional Information

Winner of the Peter Birks Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship, 2005

About the Author

Joshua Getzler is a Fellow and Tutor in Law at St Hugh's College, Oxford.


`Some historical studies are so carefully done that they describe their subject definitively. Other scholars may question why the events occurred as they did, but they will not challenge how these events are described. In this sense, Getzler's book is the definitive study of water rights at common law. ... Getzler's work will bring the reader as close as any study could to what happened, and to what was in the minds of those who made it happen.' James Gordley, Law Quarterly Review `With the appearance of Joshua Getzler's exhaustive treatment of the history of water rights at common law, at last there is a law book to match the importance of its subject. ... a substantial intellectual feast.' Michael Taggart, Legal Studies `... the first comprehensive study of the history of English water law...a lucid account...[Getzler] seems equally at home in the medieval period... as with the later developments circa 1580-1750, or with the development of the modern law in the nineteenth century. The depth of learning is just as impressive as its scope, with copious references provided throughout.' Jonathan Morgan, Journal of Legal History `No stone has been left unturned in order accurately to assess this development [of water rights]. ... A History of Water Rights at Common Law stands as a significant achievement in the career of its author.' Christian Witting, Modern Law Review `...Packed into a single volume, Joshua Getzler provides a comprehensive history of the English common law of water...A History of Water Rights at Common Law stands as the definitive treatment of his subject; there are no competitors in the same league with respect to sophistication or attention to detail...' James Charles Smith, Law and History Review ` read Getzler's book as a legal historian was a humbling experience. The research is exhaustive and meticulously executed, and the resulting analysis is clearly and articulately communicated... Through the medium of a study of water rights, Getzler has articulated a masterful and illuminating account of the development of the common law as a whole.'' Charlotte Smith, Journal of Environmental Law

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