Property norms, in expressing a relationship among people through resources, must address in some manner the organization of property rights and the classification of objects of property. Both the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and the Civil Code of Quebec express some notion of the idea of what the author has called property-as-object, taking the form of certain distinctions: movable/immovable, corporeal/incorporeal, capital/revenue, or in commerce/out of commerce.The Russian code contains a rich discussion of the objects of property, with a larger, more explicit formal role for objects in the understanding of property rights as compared to the Quebec code. The articles on objects in general manifest the traditional civilist distinctions, while set in the context of present Russian society.Moreover, notwithstanding some initial lack of clarity in the Russian code's classifi cation between the objects of property and the subject-matter of other patrimonial rights, the objects of property are clearly distinguishable as a category and are important to understanding property relations. Despite the focus in the Russian code on "things" as the objects of property as opposed to "rights in things", it is nevertheless the case that the latter are an important part of the property relationship, and cannot be disentangled from "things".
Private property entails a relationship between people through objects. The objects of property rights form a necessary part of the property equation, and provide an understanding of the rights and obligations allowed and required in the exploitation of any given object. This often comes through the civilian notion of destination: the idea that certain resources have a specifi c teleology or accepted way of being properly exploited or used finds expression in various legal rules. The manner in which the destination is determined may vary: it may be formal, legal or merely tacit. This basic theme is amplified in this comparative study of the basic structure of private property rights and obligations in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and in the Civil Code of Quebec. Other themes also become equally apparent in the course of this study. First, the Russian code contains a very rough approximation of the general structure of civil law property rights: a fullest right of ownership and different lesser entitlements or dismemberments. The dismemberments, however, are quite unique to the Russian context. Second, both property rights and obligations are articulated much more explicitly and elaborately in the Russian code than in the Quebec counterpart. Third, this express enunciation of obligations and limitations on all entitlements in turn is founded on the idea that ownership is a limited concept. This foundation is in no way in contradiction to the theory of ownership in Western legal theory and practice. Finally, as a general observation, the continuing role of the state in the Russian private property system as articulated in the Russian code is much more pronounced. This is true both in its role as a legislator and enforcement agent of property limitations, as well as its express role as an actor in certain of the lesser entitlements.
The paperidentifies some notable features on general private law ordering contained in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. It does so by contrasting these provisions with similar articles and doctrine from the Civil Code of Quebec. The author points out several unique features of the Russian code and speculates on some of the potential implications of these features for private law ordering. These comments are meant to stimulate discussion and comparison, and are not meant to be exhaustive in either their descriptive content or substantive analysis. The Russian code convers similar conceptual territory as the Quebec code; thus, the organizing concepts are analogous. It is therefore not surprising that the animating themes of private laaw in the civilist tradition, major distinctions such as patrimonial and extra-patrimonial rights, real and personal rights, and various sub categories, find expression in the Russian code. The elaboration of these ideas is generally much extensive in the Russian code that in the Quebec code, although the iteration in the latter is arguably more concise, clear and coherent.