Chapter 26: Ditches
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The Court of Sewers is an essential resource for law and literature scholarship. The foundational text of this minor jurisprudence is Sir Thomas Dugdale's History of Imbanking. Themes from sewer law are dramatically transformed by Shakespeare and Gerrard Winstanley's Digger texts. John Ruskin's Unto This Last, William Morris' News from Nowhere and Peter Kropotkin's Fields, Factories and Workshops are further radical re-workings of themes of ditches and ditch digging. The minor jurisprudence of the sewer terminates in the most recent ruling on the ditch rule in Wibberley Building Ltd v Insley. The ditch is fundamental to notions of property and territory. Bound up with the figure is a utopian/literary imaginary that defines alternative understandings of labour, land and community.

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