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IUC Commons Student Research
Resources for Understanding the "Commons"
The Common Core of European Private Law Study on Access to Commons
European Member States Research
Non EU Country Research
Below is the latest version of the questionnaire discussed in Gothenburg July, 2015 at the 22nd Annual Conference of the Common Core of European Private Law.
Final Questionnaire: Access to Commons
John, Orri, Sekela and Satoshi, together with their families inhabit homes in a development project, suspended due to delayed authorizations. The project was undertaken by a private corporation on public land. The four friends and their families move into the development adding improvements to the premises. After a couple of months, the private corporation discover the four families and attempt to remove them. The families refuse to leave and the private company brings a claim against them.
2) Health Care
Emanuela, together with other people from her neighborhood, has organized a volunteer non-profit medical clinic in what appeared to be an abandoned building offering free services to irregular migrants who have no health insurance. Soon after, Syntech,realizing that the market value of the building has increased since they acquired it decides to sell it at a profit. . Syntech would like Emanuela and her volunteers out of the building within a few days in order to sell it and initiates an eviction action. Many people in the area are upset by this news. Emanuela defends.
Marta, Mattias, and Madison together with their families and neighbors cultivate a communal garden on a vacant plot of land as a food source.. Max Corporation
, the owner of the plot of land, discovers the four families and tells them to leave. Max Corporation brings a claim against the four families for their removal and the food grown by the families on its land.
4a) Water: Rural
Maya, Malik and Mei depend on the water of Flumia, a nearby river. The three villagers together with other villagers in the area, build aqueducts and an irrigation canal from the river to their respective homes and fields. After a few years, a private corporation diverts the water of the Flumia river. Soon after Bob, Steve and Jane realize that water no longer flows to the aqueducts and irrigation canal from the river. Maya, Malik and Mei sue.
4b) Water 2: Urban
Jose, Jasmine and Horatio are three friends that inhabit an apartment together
in a city, Flumiapolis. Following a large increase in the price of water (200% in one year) the three friends fail to pay their water bills. After failing to pay the third bill, the water management cuts off their access to the water supply. Jose, Jasmine and Horatio sue.
Hamid, and Heba and their two children used to spend many weekends walking and playing in one of the few green areas at the outskirts of the city where they live. The land belongs to a private owner who lives in a small house near the lake. Corporation C acquires the green area and converts it into a members only country club. Hamid and Heba sue. A local environmental group also sues.
Variation 1) Assume that Hamid and Heba discover a rare species of frog on the land: how does this support/undermine their claim? The corporation’s defense?
Laura is an engineering student at a public university. During the fall semester, as part of her course of study, she has been working with 20 classmates supervised by professors to design a new type of hydraulic pump. To work on this project, the students and professors work through an online platform making the project available for one another and for public feedback and potential collaboration. The evolving project drawings are kept on university servers. At the end of the semester, the university announces that tuition fees are being raised. Laura aware of the rise in tuition does not pay it, and this results that the university unenrolls her from the course, however Laura continues to work on the pump project online as a member of the public. After a few weeks, the University administration recognizing the potential commercial value of the project removes the project from public access.. Laura sues in two ways University a) seeking reenrollment in the course b) seeking reinstatement of access and the public’s access to the project.
Variation 1) Consider whether it would be different if the Professor of the course sues to maintain public access?
Variation 2) Consider the case that there is no tuition payment necessary to enroll in the University, but rather Laura is no longer able to pay her expenses and therefore must withdraw her attendance?
State funding to a non profit local theater is cut in response to austerity measures, as a result the theater will be sold to a private company that wants to operate the theater at a profit. Evgenia, Misha, and Katia are actors and other concerned citizens that protest the sale and they, along with other workers, occupy the theater and continue the theater’s programming for the public through a combination of volunteer work and donations. The municipality brings suit to evict against Evgenia, Misha, Katia, and the other actors.
We have shifted from private owners to corporations with the idea that what is being explored is not private owners v. occupiers but instead corporations that are attempting to commodify and make a profit v. regular people who need access to resources.
We decided to avoid the depiction of the housemates as a communal housing situation to make it more generalizable.
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