Sewerage system (cloaca) in Roman law

Article Serbian OPEN
Aličić, Samir (2012)
  • Publisher: University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Law
  • Journal: Zbornik radova Pravnog fakulteta, Novi Sad (issn: 0550-2179, eissn: 2406-1255)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.5937/zrpfns46-1993
  • Subject: salubritas | Law | public interest | uti possidetis | Roman law | K | sewerage system | cloaca | cautio damni infecti | interdicts | operis novi nuntiatio

Sewerage system (cloaca), which implies any cavity through which waste water flows, has in Roman law a special legal protection due to its importance for public health preservation and safety of citizens. In Praetorian Edict, two interdicts are envisaged; one prohibitory, by which private sewerage system is protected and one restitutory, by which public sewerage system is protected. It is possible that a restitutory interdict about private sewerage system existed. By the public sewerage interdict, a person who blocks or damages public sewerage is ordered to restore everything to previous state. By the private sewerage interdict, anyone is forbidden to obstruct a person who wants to repair sewerage that leads from his building through neighboring buildings. By lawyers' interpretations, the application of this interdict is expanded to all realty, as well as a situation of building a new sewerage system. Moreover, it is envisaged by Praetorian edict that against a person who builds or repairs sewerage neither interdict uti possidetis can be filed. Similarly, by lawyers' interpretations, application of operis novi nuntiatio is prevented against a person who repairs or cleans sewerage system if interruption of work could cause danger. Law developed in the direction that enabled unobstructed maintenance and building of sewerage system through neighboring realty, especially if danger of effusion existed. The only limitations were comprised in the obligation of compensation of damages to third parties, and in certain obligations of public law character: obligation to obtain consent of magistrate when building a new sewerage and duty to pay sewerage tax (cloacarium).
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