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Servitudes Notes

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This is an extract of our Servitudes document, which we sell as part of our Roman Law Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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Supervision 5 Servitudes General Principles:


- No servitude over your own property
- Servitudes cannot be possessed
- Servitudes must be beneficial/have economic purpose
- Must be exercised reasonably
- Servitudes cannot impose active duties

Praedial Servitudes Rights that a person had by virtue of land ownership (the dominant tenement) and the land of another (the servient tenement). Praedial servitudes cannot be limited by time; 2 pieces of land do not have to be consecutive. Servitudes are rights in rem. Had to be beneficial to the dominant e.g. cannot quarry another's stone to sell/use elsewhere. Rustic praedial servitudes - are res mancipi e.g. P (dominant) has a right of way over the land of J (servient). iter - walking; riding on horseback actus - walk and drive beast of burden; drive a vehicle via - drive; walk; drag timber or stones; certain width of path aqua ductus - conducting water through another's land Who owns the channelling water during aqueductus?
Prevailing view is that it is res communes.

Urban praedial servitudes - person must support an adjoining house; right to insert a beam into another's property; receive or not receive water from another's house; must not obstruct natural light; the right to build higher etc... Main difference between urban/rustic servitudes was that urban ones were continuous (the beam always rests in the wall) whereas rustic ones were only in existence when they were used. altius non tollendi - right to prevent buildings that would obstruct your light: imposes a negative duty on neighbour B.


Urban servitudes had enormous importance sine they played a significant role in the regulation of orderly relations between neighbours in Roman towns and cities.

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