AuthorRussell Brown
ProfessionSupreme Court of Canada
I am honoured to provide this brief foreword to Professor Robert Cha m-
bers’s important introductory text, The Law of Property.
As Professor Chambers observes, almost certainly correctly, many
f‌irst-year law students f‌ind property l aw to be their most dicult course
of study. The terminology is sometimes archaic, the ideas being taught
are often abstract and abstr use, and it is almost always highly technical.
Taught well and with the aid of a good textbook, however, property law
is one of those courses — along with, I think, the law of trust s and the
law of wills — that tends to inspire trepidation at f‌irst approach, but
that students become more interested in as they gradually im merse
themselves, step by step, further into t he subject matter.
The structure of Professor Chambers’s pithy but comprehensive
book is sure to create just that kind of gradual appreciation in its read-
ers. Starting with f‌irst principles (rights in property), it pulls us fur-
ther (for example, into what sorts of things can be subject to rights in
property, how they can be held, with whom they can be held), and then
even further into secur ity interests, other i nterests in land, and then
into an elegant and persuasive di scussion on the sources of right s and
competing r ights.
There are, of course, dierent ways to learn and to teach property
law. As a student I learned it by following a very dierent syll abus
than what Professor Cha mbers sets out in thi s book, and as a profes-
sor I taught it with a dierent syllabus yet, a lthough w ith an early focus
on the f‌irst principles — rights in property — that Professor Chamber s

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