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S.J.D. Candidate
wchan at


A Humean Theory of Property Law

In my thesis, I aim to develop and defend a fully argued theory of property law inspired by Hume’s conventionalistic theory of justice. Humean theories of property have received relatively little attention within contemporary property theory, particularly analytical property theory. My project seeks to demonstrate how a Humean conventionalistic theory has the potential to contribute to property theory by providing a powerful and attractive justification for proprietary norms, combined with a novel analysis of the interface between conceptualism and contextualism in property law.

Fields of Research and Supervisors

  • Property Theory with Professor Henry E. Smith, Harvard Law School, Principal Faculty Supervisor
  • Law, Property, and Society with Professor Maureen E. Brady, Harvard Law School
  • Private Law Theory and Jurisprudence with Professor John C.P. Goldberg, Harvard Law School

Additional Research Interests

  • Property Law and Theory
  • Private Law Theory
  • General Jurisprudence
  • Law and Society
  • Equity and Trusts


  • Harvard Law School, S.J.D. Candidate 2024 – Present
  • Harvard Law School, LL.M. 2024
  • National University of Singapore, LL.B. 2018

Academic Appointments and Fellowships

  • National University of Singapore, Faculty of Law, 2022–present, Sheridan Fellow
  • Harvard Law School, 2023–2024, Project on the Foundations of Private Law Student Fellow

Representative Publications

Additional Information

Last Updated: June 17, 2024