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The Principles of Land Law
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Topical new book from Fitz Fellow Dr Emma Lees

Dr Emma Lees’ new land law textbook The Principles of Land Law is published this week by OUP. The book aims to clearly articulate the core principles of land law, providing a framework through which students can gain a sophisticated understanding of the modern land law system.

Dr Lees said: "Whilst land law can often be a daunting or, frankly, dull subject for many law students, this book tries to show that underneath the detail of the rules there is a highly logical jigsaw which can be pieced together."

The book has already received positive reviews, "[i]t is well written and difficult concepts, rules, and decisions are clearly articulated without loss of complexity. The author's enthusiasm for the subject is evident throughout" – (Dr David Seymour, City Law School), but Dr Lees says that the real test will be next academic year and a new crop of land lawyers! 

Dr Lees added: "I know from my teaching experience that students can really struggle with land law, and it often comes across as a very dry subject. But as we have seen in recent years, it’s a really critical part of the fabric of our society even if it often goes unnoticed until something goes wrong. Grenfell; the pause on evictions during the pandemic; and the controversy around extortionate ground rents all show the significance of land law to the real world and to how people live their lives in modern Britain."

In a few months, Dr Lees will also publish a monograph, Environmental Adjudication, co-authored with Ole W Pedersen, Newcastle University, published by Hart Publishing (part of the Bloomsbury group). This book examines the dynamics shaping environmental law in England and Wales, and its treatment by the judiciary. It argues that the pre-existing legal structures which form the fundamentals of the legal system have a profound effect on how environmental questions are handled in court but that these effects are underappreciated in the existing scholarly debate. The authors develop a theory of environmental adjudication, taking account of different legal cultures and contexts, exploring the multifaceted pressures which rest on the shoulders of courts when navigating the tensions between maintaining neutrality, resolving disputes, and providing guidance and assistance for future courts, policy-makers and decision-makers. 

Dr Lees said: "Environmental law too finds itself at a ‘newsworthy’ moment as Brexit provides an opportunity (although also clearly significant risks) to create really robust but flexible environmental laws for the whole of the UK. The judiciary and tribunal system will have a critical role to play in this and understanding the dynamics of what they do will be very important in how the new rules work out in practice. I really hope that this book, and The Principles of Land Law provide a starting point for stimulating debate, and look forward to discussing them with Fitzwilliam College students, as well as other Cambridge students and colleagues in the months to come."

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Front cover of the Principles of Land Law
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Front cover of Environmental Adjudication
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