Specification: Roman Law, Modern Codification and Economical Rationality

Original modes of acquisition, including specification, are nowadays far from being in the centre of lawyers’ attention. Even the regulations concerning specification in modern civil codes are rather laconic, although the problem they are supposed to deal with is of a rather complex nature. Yet some quite recent cases prove that the problem of creating a new thing is actual and may cause further confusion, especially due to the constant development and emergence of new processing technologies. After determining whether specification has taken place, we should answer the more obvious question if it has resulted in acquisition of ownership of the new thing by the processor. The variety of answers offered by Roman sources and present civil codes is surprisingly wide. Comparing to rather simple Roman propositions, modern regulations seem to be too complex and problematic to apply in practice. This observation leads to a conclusion that the simplicity of Roman solutions is their main advantage and makes them worth considering as the optimal option.

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