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the right of use of another's property without destroying or consuming that property. The concept derives from ROMAN LAW, and is in general use in the social sciences to designate property relations whereby either property ownership, particularly in land, is not established within a society, or where use rather than ownership may be the most important aspect of property relations.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in ancient Rome, the right held by one person to use property belonging to another and to enjoy the benefits and profits derived therefrom, without, however, changing the substance of such property. Usufruct was a type of personal servitude established for the use of an individual, either for life or for a designated period, without the right of alienation or transfer through inheritance. Widely practiced during the Middle Ages, usufruct became common in bourgeois law, as in France; it was usually regarded as an independent real right.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
the context of usufructuary rights, a subtler distinction is that a
"The right to continued occupancy of the Gull Lake reservation inextricably included usufructuary rights, including the right to fish on Gull Lake," the judge wrote.
Development Regulation on the usufructuary's rights.
Blackstone writes that our ancestors, if provided merely a usufructuary right of property, would not seek to improve upon it in a way that would make life "more easy, commodious, and agreeable; as, habitations for shelter and safety, and raiment for warmth and decency."(91) But as mankind developed, the right evolved and ossified to enable the efficient distribution of land to create permanent agrarian communities and shift away from hunter-gatherer societies.(92) Blackstone concludes that the "permanent right of property...
usufructuary only, and while conferring the legal right to use the water
(138) The primary reasons, according to the court, were: (1) because water rights are usufructuary, any use restriction effectively eviscerates the right; and (2) to a plaintiff, it made little difference whether the restraint followed from a regulatory constraint or from the government physically removing the water; the impact was the same.
Water rights across the United States are usufructuary: a private party may have an entitlement to use water but not to own it.
The new land regime attempted to achieve the government's political ends by gradually transforming all farmers, slave or free, into peasant proprietors whose 'traditional' obligation to pay money to the state-understood by the English term 'tax'--stemmed from their investiture with usufructuary rights to land.
(171) The idea of "possession" is used restrictively, applied only to owners, because "[t]he Roman probably understood by 'possession' not simply the holding of a thing but rather the holding of a thing in the manner of an owner;" (172) that is, a usufructuary is not in possession of the land he uses.