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Legal Strategies for the Development and Protection of Communal Property$
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Ting Xu and Alison Clarke

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266380

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266380.001.0001

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Commons Governance, Normative Pluralism and the Enduring Role of Custom

Commons Governance, Normative Pluralism and the Enduring Role of Custom

Chapter:
(p.15) 2 Commons Governance, Normative Pluralism and the Enduring Role of Custom
Source:
Legal Strategies for the Development and Protection of Communal Property
Author(s):

Christopher Rodgers

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266380.003.0002

The governance of common land in England and Wales is shaped by a mixture of customary and legal norms that can shift and change. Notwithstanding the introduction of legislation for the registration of common land and common rights, custom retains an important role in the governance of common land. This chapter situates custom alongside the other normative rules used to structure the governance of common land. It considers reforms introduced by the Commons Act 2006, including provision for the formation of self-regulating commons councils. It concludes that a legal pluralist analysis that focuses on the functionality of differing customary and legal norms, but which is also sensitive to the sources from which rules derive normativity, is essential if we are to position custom in the hierarchy of norms relevant to the governance of common land, to understand their respective roles and how these can change over time and space, and to appraise their effectiveness.

Keywords:   commons governance, common land, custom, pluralism, norms

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