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1. THE EMERGENCE AND CAUSES OF THE ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION IN WESTERN TRADITIONAL CIVIL LAWS The acquisitive prescription system was originated in Roman law. As Maine said: "There were traces of the oldest ancient things in the oldest part of Roman law. Yet its late provisions as well provided the civil system information even dominating modern societies."(Shen, translation, 1959). The prescription acquisition or acquisitive prescription in Justinian Law was the mixture of two different systems: usucapio (prescription acquisition) and longi temporis praescriptio (long-term acquisitive prescription). The prescription acquisition (usucapio) was an extremely old civil law system. The meaning of the noun is to achieve acquisition through possession, since "usus" was only the early term to indicate possession (possessio); the terminology of this type of acquiring pattern initially was "usus". Yet this prescription acquisition system was only applicable to Italian land. It might be just for making up the loophole, there emerged Greek Law-originated "Long-term acquisitive prescription defense (exception or praescriptio longi temporis or longae possessionis) system" with co-efforts from both emperors and various provinces governors in the Age of Empires. This system was just to allow possessors to confront the goods-returning claimants with defense after the possessors had possessed goods of the residents living in the same city (residents resided in the same province upon granting all province residents Roman citizenship) for more than ten years or had possessed the goods of missing persons for over twenty years. Although these two systems in practice had different characteristics and as well required different conditions due to different foundations; there initially played same functions. Moreover, the possessors, in addition to defending, could as well file a lawsuit for requesting to return possibly lost goods after ten or twenty years. The only reserved difference (it is presently hard to justify) involved the difference between Italian land and province land, particularly in the issue of acquiring the time requested (Huang, translation, 1992, 218-221).

Essais et sciences humaines
28 février
Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture

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