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Sender:
Jason Neyers
Date:
Fri, 23 Nov 2007 14:20:05 -0500
Re:
Deceit: damages and account

 

Colleagues:

I'm not sure "property-like" is a concept that is vacuous or without content, and in any event Weinrib deals with this possible objection in the corrective justice paper for those that are interested.

I had always thought that it was the nature of acquisition which set apart property and gave its owner the entitlement to the use, fruit and abuse: because after acquisition it is now their means/thing. I would add also that the property owner is entitled to the gain/fruits even without a breach by anyone, so the entitlement comes from the primary right not the secondary right; so the explanation is not as question-begging as Lionel makes it appear.

  

Cheers,

Jason Neyers
Associate Professor of Law
Faculty of Law
University of Western Ontario
N6A 3K7
(519) 661-2111 x. 88435

  

Lionel Smith wrote:

The question indeed is whether the plaintiff’s right includes a right to any gain derived from breach, but the suggestion that this is only true in property tort cases is not at all clear. All my rights are mine in some sense. What is special about property rights? Depending on which of its many meanings one is using, the most obvious answer is that they are exigible against lots of people. I have never understood the argument that exigibility-against-many has any necessary connection to entitlement to gains acquired through breach (the argument that it has was explicitly rejected in Blake).

In my own view, bringing in fiduciary law only weakens the claim that gain-based claims are confined to property claims. A duty of loyalty is a right-duty relationship, not a property relationship (assuming still that we are using ‘property’ to mean exigibile-against-many). So the availability of gain-based remedies for breach of fiduciary obligation tells against any argument that such remedies are about property rights. If we start saying it is ‘like’ property then we have abandoned the initial premise, that this is confined to property, and the question remains unanswered, which rights allow gain-based remedies for infringement?


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