Roman law no complaints

The Roman jurist Gaius has been invoked in a court case concerning the rights of anglers to fish off the M6, The temperature reports.

The case examined whether Clear water fishing (CWF), owner of lakes created in the voids left after the construction of the M6, was entitled to fish purchased by Borwick Development Solutions (BDS).

Before the land was sold, BDS used the lakes to run a fishing business where fishermen could catch and release fish for sport. A 2016 sale project between BDS and CWF for land and all fish stocks fell through. BDS ran into financial difficulties that year and a receiver was appointed who sold the land to CWF for £ 625,000.

Lawyers for CWF argued that the previous owners no longer held any rights to the fish, but their opponents said the new owners should not operate a business using the fish stocks because they were owned by BDS.

the Supreme Court found for BDS but the Court of Appeal has now decided that the company no longer owns the fish once the land is sold.

Gaius Second comment, from 161 AD, has been cited. It reads as follows: “Wild beasts, birds and fish, as soon as they are captured, become, by natural law, the property of the kidnapper, but only subsist as long as they remain in his power. “

Sir Timothy Lloyd said that once the fish were put in the lake, it became the property of the landowner.

“The fish of the Borwick Lakes, from which they cannot escape, were and are subject to a general and exclusive right of the landowner to catch them and then kill them or do whatever they want with them. ‘he wants with them,’ Sir told Timothy.

“In my opinion, it is the same when the ownership of the land ends, without reservation of any right of access to the land which would allow the former owner to come and take the fish himself. From this moment, the former owner no longer has any possession of the animals, and his former rights acquired by industry no longer exist.

‘Gaius’ is a praenomen, a personal name. The full name of the author of the Institutes, with whom many Edinburgh Law School the student is familiar, is unknown.

Paul Du Plessis, Professor of Roman Law at the University of Edinburgh, Recount SLN: “Cases like these demonstrate the continuing didactic importance of Roman law. When it comes to resolving fundamental questions of legal doctrine, Roman law is invariably the right law.

“It is good to see this once again confirmed by the highest courts in the UK. “

David C. Barham