Usufruct (/ˈjuːzjuːfrʌkt/)[1] is a limited real right (or in rem right) found in civil-law and mixed jurisdictions that unites the two property interests of usus and fructus:

  • Usus (use) is the right to use or enjoy a thing possessed, directly and without altering it.
  • Fructus (fruit, in a figurative sense) is the right to derive profit from a thing possessed: for instance, by selling crops, leasing immovables or annexed movables, taxing for entry, and so on.

A usufruct is either granted in severalty or held in common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed. The third civilian property interest is abusus (literally abuse), the right to alienate the thing possessed, either by consuming or destroying it (e.g. for profit), or by transferring it to someone else (e.g. sale, exchange, gift). Someone enjoying all three rights has full ownership.

Generally, a usufruct is a system in which a person or group of persons uses the real property (often land) of another. These "usufructuary" do not own the property, but do have an interest in it, which is sanctioned or contractually allowed by the owner. Two different systems of usufruct exist: perfect and imperfect. In a perfect usufruct, the usufructuary is entitled the use of the property but cannot substantially change it. For example, an owner of a small business may become ill and grant the right of usufruct to an individual to run their business. The usufructuary thus has the right to operate the business and gain income from it, but does not have the right to, for example, tear down the business and replace it, or to sell it.[2] The imperfect usufruct system gives the usufructuary some ability to modify the property. For example, if a land owner grants a piece of land to a usufructuary for agricultural use, the usufructuary may have the right to not only grow crops on the land but also make improvements that would help in farming, say by building a barn. However this can be disadvantageous to the usufructuary: if a usufructuary makes material enhancements to their usufruct, they do not own them, and any money spent on those enhancements would essentially transfer to the original owner at the end of the usufruct.[3][4]

In many usufructuary property systems, such as the traditional ejido system in Mexico, individuals or groups may only acquire the usufruct of the property, not legal title. A usufruct is directly equatable to a common-law life estate except that a usufruct can be granted for a term shorter than the holder's lifetime (cestui que vie).


Usufruct comes from civil law, under which it is a subordinate real right (ius in re aliena) of limited duration, usually for a person's lifetime. The holder of a usufruct, known as a usufructuary, has the right to use (usus) the property and enjoy its fruits (fructus). In modern terms, fructus more or less corresponds to the profit one may make, as when selling the "fruits" (in both literal and figurative senses) of the land or leasing a house.

Fruits refers to any renewable commodity on the property, including (among others) actual fruits, livestock and even rental payments derived from the property. These may be divided into civil (fructus civiles), industrial (fructus industriales), and natural fruits (fructus naturales), the latter of which, in Roman law, included slaves and livestock.

Under Roman law, usufruct was a type of personal servitude (servitutes personarum), a beneficial right in another's property. The usufructuary never had possession of this property (on the basis that if he possessed at all, he did so through the owner), but he did have an interest in the property itself for a period, either a term of years, or a lifetime. Unlike the owner, the usufructuary did not have a right of alienation (abusus), but he could sell or lease his usufructuary interest. Even though a usufructuary did not have possessory title, he could sue for relief in the form of a modified possessory interdict (prohibiting order).

In some indigenous cultures, usufruct means the land is owned in common by the people, but families and individuals have the right to use certain plots of land. Land is considered village or communal land rather than owned by individual people. While people can take fruits of the land, they may not sell or abuse it in ways that stop future use of the land by the community.

Ancient examples of usufruct are found in the Code of Hammurabi and the Law of Moses. The Law of Moses directed property owners not to harvest the edges of their fields, and reserved the gleanings for the poor.[5]

Thomas Jefferson famously wrote in 1789 that "Earth belongs - in usufruct - to the living." Jefferson's phrase means that, like a usufructuary, humans do not own the world but do have the rights to work and derive profit from it. Jefferson's use of the word "living" is critical here however: he meant that the usufructuary of the world were those who were alive, not deceased past generations. This idea would profoundly influence Jefferson over the course of his life, and would lead to his acknowledgement that the Constitution of the United States would be revised by future generations, and was part of the reason that the Constitution includes a provision for its own amendment. Jefferson understood that after his death the right of usufructuary of the Earth would belong to those who were alive to work it, and not the dead.[6]

Local variations


In France usufruct applies in inheritances. Under French law an indefeasible portion known as the forced estate passes to the deceased's surviving spouse and issue (with shares apportioned according to the number of children), with the rest of the estate – the free estate – free to dispose of by will. However, the surviving spouse may elect to distribute the forced estate as is, or convert it into a usufruct, or break up the estate into a distributable portion and a usufruct good for the children's lifetime. If a usufruct is chosen, a value is set for the usufruct interest for inheritance tax purposes and payable by the surviving spouse, on a sliding scale according to his/her age.

The value of furniture and household items is calculated using a standard formula based on the appraised value of the estate's liquid and non-liquid assets, then the usufruct's value to the surviving spouse is subtracted, and finally the remaining balance is divided among the children on the death of the surviving spouse. This simplifies handling household items since the surviving spouse is free to maintain, replace or dispose of them as he/she wishes during his/her lifetime, with the monetary value of the items going to the children. Title to assets does not pass, and the usufruct disappears on death or at the end of a term of years. A usufruct is distinct from a trust or similar settlement. French law breaks with Roman law by construing a usufruct as not a servitude but rather a possessory interest.

United States


Although the United States is for the most part a common law jurisdiction recognizing life estate instead of usufruct, Louisiana is a civil-law jurisdiction, specifically following the French and Spanish models. In Louisiana, usufructs generally are created in a manner similar to other real rights, by gift ("donation"), will ("testament"), or operation of law. Nevertheless, they are typically granted cestui que vie. Unless otherwise provided in a will, a person's share of community property accedes to descendants as bare title holders ("naked owners"); nevertheless, if that person has a living spouse, the latter will receive a usufruct in that portion of the estate until death or remarriage (La. Civil Code art. 890). Under certain other conditions, a usufruct may arise giving rights to that person's parents.[7]


While Georgia does not share Louisiana's civil law history, Georgia General Assembly statutorily created usufructs.[8] In Georgia, a usufruct is "rights or privileges usually arising out of landlord and tenant relationships, and with privileges granted to tenants holding less interest in real estate than estate for years".[9] Under Georgia law, if a landowner grants a lease for fewer than five years, the lease agreement is a usufruct, and the landowner retains the estate.[10] Additionally, Georgia court's consider any relationship between a landowner and a lessee where the restrictions are "so pervasive as to be fundamentally inconsistent with the concept of an estate for years" or the landowner retains "dominion and control" over the business operating on the property a usufruct.[11]


Philippine law relating to usufruct is set forth primarily in Title VI of the Philippine Civil Code.[12]


In Thailand the Commercial and Civil Code is based on the European civil code and recognizes the notion of usufruct at clauses 1417 to 1428. The usufruct can be done for lifetime or a maximum of 30 years according to the law. It needs to be registered at the local land department to have full effect on third parties, on title deed Nor Sor Sam or higher. The land department in Thailand will use their own forms and contracts. However, parties can make their own agreements. A usufruct contract in Thai and English is available here, payment of fee required for download.


A liferent, by which a usufruct is known in Scots law, is the right to receive for life the benefits of a property or other asset, without the right to dispose of the property or asset. An individual who enjoys this right is called a liferenter. The owner of a property burdened by a usufruct is called the fiar and right of ownership is known as the fee.


Usufruct has been revived as part of the agricultural change associated with Cuba's Special Period. As a legacy of sanctions and a struggling economy, Cuba had accumulated many crumbling buildings that could not be repaired. These were torn down and the empty lots lay idle for years until the food shortages forced Cuban citizens to make use of every piece of land. Initially, this was an ad-hoc process where ordinary Cubans took the initiative to grow their own food in whatever piece of land was available. Tenure but not ownership was formalised with a legal framework using usufruct to give farmers rights on a profit-sharing basis to the products produced from the land, but not ownership rights to the land itself.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ "usufruct". Oxford English Dictionary second edition. Oxford University Press. 1989. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  2. ^ Staff, Investopedia (2003-11-24). "Usufruct". Investopedia. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  3. ^ "Property Matters: The Ins and Outs Of a Usufruct -". Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  4. ^ "Usufruct | law". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  5. ^ Leviticus 19:9-10, 23:22.
  6. ^ "The Earth Belongs in Usufruct to the Living | The Papers of Thomas Jefferson". Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  7. ^ La. C.C. art. 891.
  8. ^ Ga. L. 1876, p. 35, § 1.
  9. ^ Roe v. Doe, 246 Ga. 138, 140, 268 S.E.2d 901, 904 (1980) (quoting Martin v. Heard, 239 Ga. 816, 818 – 19, 238 S.E.2d 899, 901 (1977)).
  10. ^ O.C.G.A. § 44-7-1
  11. ^ Diversified Golf, LLC v. Hart County Bd. of Tax Assessors, 267 Ga. App. 8, 14, 598 S.E.2d 791, 796 (2004) (quoting Camp v. Delta Air Lines, 232 Ga. 37, 40, 205 S.E.2d 194 (1974); Allright Parking of Georgia v. Joint City-County Bd. of Tax Assessors, 244 Ga. 378, 387, 260 S.E.2d 315 (1979); Buoy v. Chatham County Bd. of Tax Assessors, 142 Ga. App. 172, 173, 235 S.E.2d 556 (1977)).
  12. ^ Book II, Property, Ownership, and its Modifications, Republic Act No. 386, The Civil Code of the Philippines (June 18, 1949), Chan Robles Law Library.
  13. ^ Clifford L. Staten (2005). The History of Cuba. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-4039-6259-1.
  14. ^ Audrey C. Fusco (2008). Local Food, Sustainability, and Cuba's National Food Program. ProQuest. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-109-07009-5.

Bienno (Camunian: Bién) is an Italian comune in Val Camonica, province of Brescia, Lombardy, classed as one of the five most beautiful villages of Italy by the Council of Tourism of the Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI).

Bierut Decree

This article is about the 1945 law on property in Warsaw. You may also be looking for 1945-1946 laws concerning Germans in Poland known as the Bierut Decrees.Bierut Decree or Warsaw Land Decree is a common name of the Decree on Ownership and Usufruct of Land in the Area of the Capital of Warsaw also translated as the Decree on Ownership and Use of Land in Warsaw (Polish: Dekret o własności i użytkowaniu gruntów na obszarze m. st. Warszawy) issued in Poland on 26 October 1945 by the State National Council. The Decree, named after the Council's leader, Bolesław Bierut, nationalized most of the land properties in Warsaw.


Chilevisión (CHV) is a Chilean free-to-air television channel. Is the third oldest Chilean television network, and was formerly called Canal 9 de Televisión de la Universidad de Chile, Teleonce (Universidad de Chile Televisión) and RTU (Red de Televisión de la Universidad de Chile), this TV station was owned by Universidad de Chile, a Chilean state university. This educational institution sold a significant percentage of its TV channel to Venevisión, changing its name to Chilevisión. It was later sold to Claxson Interactive Group and then to Chilean investor and president Sebastián Piñera.

On 28 August 2010, it was announced that Turner Broadcasting System Latin America had reached an agreement to purchase it. This assets do not include the analog television channel frequency which is still owned by Universidad de Chile and is used under a paid usufruct scheme, similar to a lease. This contract expires in 2018 and only affects the analog frequencies used by the station. On 6 October 2010 the purchase was materialized.


In the Mexican system of government, an ejido (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈxiðo], from Latin exitum) is an area of communal land used for agriculture, on which community members individually farm designated parcels and collectively maintain communal holdings. Ejidos are registered with Mexico's National Agrarian Registry (Registro Agrario Nacional). The system of ejidos was based on an understanding of the Aztec calpulli and the medieval Spanish ejido.


Geolibertarianism is a political and economic ideology that integrates libertarianism with Georgism (alternatively geoism or geonomics), most often associated with left-libertarianism or the radical center.Geolibertarians hold that geographical space and raw natural resources—any assets that qualify as land by economic definition—are rivalrous goods to be considered common property or more accurately unowned, which all individuals share an equal human right to access, not capital wealth to be privatized fully and absolutely. Therefore, landholders must pay compensation according to the rental value decided by the free market, absent any improvements, to the community for the civil right of usufruct (that is, legally recognized exclusive possession with restrictions on property abuse) or otherwise fee simple title with no such restrictions. Ideally, the taxing of a site would be administered only after it has been determined that the privately captured economic rent from the land exceeds the title-holder's equal share of total land value in the jurisdiction. On this proposal, rent is collected not for the mere occupancy or use of land as neither the community nor the state rightfully owns the commons, but rather as an objectively assessed indemnity due for the legal right to exclude others from that land. Some geolibertarians also support Pigovian taxes on pollution and severance taxes to regulate natural resource depletion and compensatory fees with ancillary positive environmental effects on activities which negatively impact land values. They endorse the standard right-libertarian view that each individual is naturally entitled to the fruits of their labor as exclusive private property as opposed to produced goods being owned collectively by society or by the government acting to represent society, and that a person's "labor, wages, and the products of labor" should not be taxed. Along with non-Georgists in the libertarian movement, they also support law of equal liberty, advocating "full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded".Geolibertarians are generally influenced by the Georgist single tax movement of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, but the ideas behind it pre-date Henry George and can be found in different forms in the writings of John Locke, the English True Levellers or Diggers such as Gerrard Winstanley, the French Physiocrats (particularly Quesnay and Turgot), Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Jean-Baptiste Say, Frédéric Bastiat, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and Thomas Spence. Prominent geolibertarians since George have included Albert Jay Nock, Frank Chodorov and Milton Friedman(on consequentialist grounds). Other libertarians who have expressed support for the land value tax as an incremental reform include John Hospers, Karl Hess and United States Libertarian Party co-founder David Nolan.

Grazing rights

Grazing rights is the right of a user to allow their livestock to feed (graze) in a given area.


Ijarah, (Arabic: الإجارة‎, al-Ijārah, "to give something on rent" or "providing services and goods temporarily for a wage" (a noun, not a verb)), is a term of fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and product in Islamic banking and finance.

In traditional fiqh, it means a contract for the hiring of persons or renting/leasing of the services or the “usufruct” of a property, generally for a fixed period and price. In hiring, the employer is called musta’jir, while the employee is called ajir. Ijarah need not lead to purchase. In conventional leasing an "operating lease" does not end in a change of ownership, nor does the type of ijarah known as al-ijarah (tashghiliyah).In Islamic finance, al Ijarah does lead to purchase (Ijara wa Iqtina, or "rent and acquisition") and usually refers to a leasing contract of property (such as land, plant, office automation, a motor vehicle), which is leased to a client for stream of rental and purchase payments, ending with a transfer of ownership to the lessee, and otherwise follows Islamic regulations.

Isarn (bishop of Grenoble)

Isarn was the Bishop of Grenoble from 950 until his death in 976. During the reign of Conrad the Peaceful he was instrumental in re-asserting Christian political authority in the south of the Kingdom of Burgundy, overrun by Saracens, and in restoring the shattered Church in the region. His methods in expelling the Saracens from his diocese, were similar to those used by his successful contemporary, William the Liberator in Provence.

Isarn belonged to the family of the counts of Graisivaudan (Gravaisdun), a precursor district of the Dauphiné, whose patronage of abbeys and proprietary churches resulted in considerable control of the local church at the time. Isarn was loyal to the diocese, however, being one of the few noblemen of the region not to flee the conquest of Grenoble by the Saracens. In 965 Isarn led a counterattack against the Saracens ("Moors") and removed them from his diocese.

In 972 a raiding party of Saracens from Fraxinetum captured Mayeuil, abbot of Cluny, while he was returning from a visit to Rome. According to Archibald Lewis, "it was this action which probably at last forced action against them." Isarn began a programme of encastellation to bring the Dauphiné back under Christian control. According to later sources, the bishop had in fact begun his castle-building programme not long after 950. Between that date and 974 Isarn had many castles constructed throughout his diocese, over all of which he maintained dominatio et servitia (lordship and service). He also pursued the re-cultivation of abandoned soil and the restoration of abandoned churches and monasteries.

One late charter, from 1100, refers to the re-colonisation of some Alpine areas under Isarn's direction. Isarn's efforts at re-colonisation are not well evidenced in contemporary charters. Only one, from 976, shows the bishop granting a small piece of land as a medium plantum. Elsewhere in a charter, but with no specifics, we are told that Isarn granted castles and land to nobiles, mediores et pauperes: noblemen, the middle class, and the poor. One method used to put uncultivated soil back into use was probably also used to resettle wasteland. A person could be charged with replanting a large tract of land or rebuilding a set of houses in return for his owning a precarium or usufruct on half of them for his lifetime. This method of resettlement and redefence led to castles which were half owned by the bishop and half by those who occupied them.

In an eleventh-century dispute between Hugh of Châteauneuf and Guigues III of Albon over the possession of ecclesiastic lands in the Gravaisdun, Hugh, to reinforce what he judged to be his right, fabricated a story of Isarn reconquering by arms the diocese of Grenoble from the hands of the Saracens. That was the object of the preamble to a series of documents designed to establish the right of the diocese over those lands, documents known as the "Cartularies of Saint Hugh".

Joel Kovel

Joel Kovel (1936–2018) was an American scholar and author, known as the founder of "Eco-socialism."

John III, Marquis of Namur

John III (died 10 March 1429) was between 1418 and 1429 the last independent Marquis of Namur.

He was the youngest son of William I, Marquis of Namur and Catherine of Savoy († 1388), daughter of Louis II of Savoy, baron of Vaud, and Isabella of Châlon.

When his father died in 1391, he inherited Wijnendale and Ronse. He succeeded his elder brother William II as Marquis of Namur, when William died without children in 1418.

John never married, but had an illegitimate son with his cousin Cécile of Savoy: Philip of Namur, seigneur de Dhuy (died 1449).John III lead a very luxurious life, and he had to raise taxes to finance his expenses. This led to revolts and high debts, which forced John to sell his County to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (23 April 1421) for 30.000 golden crowns and the clause that he could benefit from the usufruct of his former county. Philip the Good incorporated Namur into the Burgundian Netherlands, thus ending the existence of an independent County of Namur.

Land monopoly

A land monopoly occurs when an entity or a class is able to corner the market on land. According to Winston Churchill, "Land monopoly is not the only monopoly, but it is by far the greatest of monopolies – it is a perpetual monopoly, and it is the mother of all other forms of monopoly." According to anarcho-capitalist Murray Rothbard, "Land monopoly is far more widespread in the modern world than most people – especially most Americans – believe. In the undeveloped world, especially in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, feudal landholding is a crucial social and economic problem – with or without quasi-serf impositions on the persons of the peasantry." Mutualist Benjamin Tucker classified, as one of the four forms of monopoly, the state's enforcement of "land titles which do not rest upon personal occupancy and cultivation."There are numerous mechanisms of ameliorating land monopolization.

The Land Value Tax

The Lockean proviso

Public land

Standards of abandonment



Adverse possession

Right of way

Real covenants

Law of succession in South Africa

The South African law of succession prescribes the rules which determine the devolution of a person's estate after his death, and all matters incidental thereto. It identifies the beneficiaries who are entitled to succeed to the deceased's estate, and the extent of the benefits they are to receive, and determines the different rights and duties that persons (for example, beneficiaries and creditors) may have in a deceased's estate. It forms part of private law.

The manner in which assets are distributed depends on whether the deceased has left a valid will or other valid document containing testamentary provisions, such as an antenuptial contract. If the deceased has not left a valid will or valid document containing testamentary provisions, the deceased dies intestate; similarly, if the deceased leaves a valid will which does not dispose of all property, there is an intestacy as to the portion not disposed of. In the event of intestacy, the assets are distributed in a definite order of preference among the heirs, as stipulated by the Intestate Succession Act. Until recently, the Act (and its common-law precursor) existed side-by-side with a statutorily-regulated customary-law regime of intestate succession, applied on a racial basis, but this was brought to an end when the Constitutional Court, in Bhe v Magistrate, Khayelitsha, made the Intestate Succession Act applicable to all.

Where the deceased dies leaving a valid will, the rules of testate succession apply. These are derived from common law and the Wills Act. Testate succession is governed by the general premise that the assets of the deceased are distributed in accordance with the provisions of the will. If specified property is left to a person, the disposition is termed a “legacy.” Legacies are distributed first; any residue in the estate is given to the person, if any, who is appointed as heir. If the will appoints more than one heir, the residue is divided among them.


In Islam, gambling (Arabic: ميسر‎, translit. maisîr, maysir, maisira or قمار qimâr), is forbidden (Arabic: harām).

Maisir is prohibited by Islamic law (shari'a) on the grounds that "the agreement between participants is based on immoral inducement provided by entirely wishful hopes in the participants' minds that they will gain by mere chance, with no consideration for the possibility of loss".

DefinitionsBoth qimar and maisir refer to games of chance, but qimar is a kind (or subset) of maisir.

Author Muhammad Ayub defines maisir as "wishing something valuable with ease and without paying an equivalent compensation for it or without working for it, or without undertaking any liability against it by way of a game of chance", Another source, Faleel Jamaldeen, defines it as "the acquisition of wealth by chance (not by effort)". Ayub defines qimar as "also mean[ing] receipt of money, benefit or usufruct at the cost of others, having entitlement to that money or benefit by resorting to chance"; Jamaldeen as "any game of chance".

In scriptureIt is stated in the Quran that games of chance, including maisir, are a "grave sin" and "abominations of Satan's handiwork". It is also mentioned in ahadith.

They ask you about wine and gambling. Say: 'In them both lies grave sin, though some benefit, to mankind. But their sin is more grave than their benefit.'

O believers, wine and gambling, idols and divining arrows are an abhorrence, the work of Satan. So keep away from it, that you may prevail. Satan only desires to arouse discord and hatred among you with wine and gambling, and to deter you from the mention of God and from prayer. Will you desist?

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Whoever swears saying in his oath. 'By Al-lāt and al-‘Uzzá,' should say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but God; and whoever says to his friend, 'Come, let me gamble with you,' should give something in charity."


Mankayane is a town located in the Manzini region of Eswatini. This small town services the chiefdom of Velezizweni. Nearby are the extensive man-made forests which cover much of the high veld areas of Eswatini. The area around Mankayane is also covered in small homesteads where traditional forms of agriculture are carried out. Other small irrigation schemes now exist providing a cash cropping basis for some local farmers. One such scheme is Ntamakuphila.

The areas to the West and South of Mankayane are Swazi Nation Land (SNL). These areas are "tribal" lands. That is they are administered under traditional systems of land tenure where a chief gives land to men, enough for their wives and children to use. This happens at the point at which these men "give Khonta", or allegiance, to the Chief. Individuals do not own the land they have "rights of usufruct", rights to use land as they need it for their families. To the north are the man-made forests and these sit in Individually Tenured Land (ITL). These pieces of land comprising almost 50% of the country are those areas taken over for use as farms and industry at the time of colonisation. These areas are privately owned; originally by English or Afrikaans farmers and increasingly by indigenous or naturalised Swazi.

Nonpossessory interest in land

A nonpossessory interest in land is a term of the law of property to describe any of a category of rights held by one person to use land that is in the possession of another. Such rights can generally be created in one of two ways: either by an express agreement between the party who owns the land and the party who seeks to own the interest; or by an order of a court.

Under the common law, there are five variations of such rights. These are:



restrictive covenants

equitable servitudes, and


Perpetual usufruct

Perpetual usufruct (right of perpetual usufruct, RPU) is the English-language term often used by Polish lawyers to describe the Polish version of public ground lease. It is usually granted for 99 years, but never shorter than 40 years, and enables leasehold use of publicly owned land, in most cases located in urban areas. Although it does not give freehold rights, buildings located on such land can be owned directly by private parties. The Act of the transformation of the right of perpetual usufruct into freehold ownership of real estate of 29th July 2005 (Dz.U. 2005 nr 175 poz. 1459) made the transformation possible in specific cases.

The etymology of this term may be related to the fact that Google Translate translates the Polish term to Perpetual usufruct.

Rule against perpetuities

The rule against perpetuities is a common law rule that prevents people from using legal instruments (usually a deed or a will) to exert control over the ownership of property for a time long beyond the lives of people living at the time the instrument was written. Specifically, the rule forbids a person from creating future interests (traditionally contingent remainders and executory interests) in property that would vest beyond 21 years after the lifetimes of those living at the time of creation of the interest. In essence, the rule prevents a person from putting qualifications and criteria in a deed or a will that would continue to affect the ownership of property long after he or she has died, a concept often referred to as control by the "dead hand" or "mortmain".

The basic elements of the rule against perpetuities originated in England in the 17th century and were "crystallized" into a single rule in the 19th century. The rule's classic formulation was given in 1886 by the American scholar John Chipman Gray:

No interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after some life in being at the creation of the interest.

The rule against perpetuities serves a number of purposes. First, English courts have long recognized that allowing owners to attach long-lasting contingencies to their property harms the ability of future generations to freely buy and sell the property, since few people would be willing to buy property that had unresolved issues regarding its ownership hanging over it. Second, judges often had concerns about the dead being able to impose excessive limitations on the ownership and use of property by those still living. For this reason, the rule only allows testators (will-makers) to put contingencies on ownership upon the following generation plus 21 years. Lastly, the rule against perpetuities was sometimes used to prevent very large, possibly aristocratic estates from being kept in one family for more than one or two generations at a time.The rule against perpetuities is famous as one of the most difficult topics encountered by law school students. It is notoriously difficult to apply properly: in 1961, the Supreme Court of California ruled that it was not legal malpractice for an attorney to draft a will that inadvertently violated the rule. Therefore, in the United States it has been abolished by statute in Alaska, Idaho, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and South Dakota. The Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities validates non-vested interests that would otherwise be void as violating the common law rule if that interest actually vests within 90 years of its creation; it has been enacted in 29 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia), the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and is currently under consideration in New York. Other jurisdictions apply the "wait and see" or "cy-près doctrine" that validates contingent remainders and executory interests that would be void under the traditional rule in certain circumstances. These doctrines have also been codified in the United Kingdom by the 1964 statute.

Tapu (Ottoman law)

Tapu (also Tabu) was a permanent lease of state-owned arable land to a peasant family in the Ottoman Empire. The term was also used to indicate the title deed that certified tapu rights.

In Palestine, the Turkish word "tapu" was pronounced "tabu" by the Arabs, and has been carried over into Hebrew as such.

The family head acquired the usufruct of the land and was able to transmit this right to his male descendants upon his death. In return, he pledged to cultivate the land on a continuous basis and to meet a series of fiscal requirements and obligations to fulfill specific services to the state or to the sipahis.

Tapu is the basis of the Ottoman agrarian system revolving around family-scale units called çifthane.


A waqf (Arabic: وقف‎; [ˈwɑqf]), also known as habous or mortmain property, is an inalienable charitable endowment under Islamic law, which typically involves donating a building, plot of land or other assets for Muslim religious or charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the assets. The donated assets may be held by a charitable trust. The person making such dedication is known as waqif, a donor. In Ottoman Turkish law, and later under the British Mandate of Palestine, the waqf was defined as usufruct State land (or property) of which the State revenues are assured to pious foundations. Although based on several hadiths and presenting elements similar to practices from pre-Islamic cultures, it seems that the specific full-fledged Islamic legal form of endowment called waqf dates from the 9th century CE (see paragraph "History and location").

By owner
By nature
(key work)

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