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But the Liberal government was returned and it abolished the Lords right of veto in the Parliament Act By then, land registration reforms were a minor political issue and only really opposed by solicitors who earned sizeable conveyancing fees. It was subjected to ridicule in books like Charles Dickens ' Bleak House and his fictional case of Jarndyce v Jarndyce , a Chancery matter that nobody understood and dragged on for years and years.

Under the Supreme Court of Judicature Act , equitable principles would prevail in case of conflict. From the Great Reform Act , to the Reform Act , and the Representation of the People Act , the connection between property and the vote was gradually reduced and then abolished. Together with the Parliament Act , a more democratic constitution had emerged, though it was only in that the voting age for men and women became equal and only in that the double votes and extra constituencies for students of the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London were removed.

Over the twentieth century, land law became increasingly social in character. First, from the Housing Act and the post war government's policy of building " homes fit for heroes " more and more houses were built, and maintained, by local governments. In private accommodation, new rights were enacted for tenants against their landlords, with some security of tenure and rent regulation , a break on unfettered " freedom of contract ".

The policy was halted by the Housing Act , which sought to privatise properties by introducing a " right to buy " one's council home. At the same time, rights for tenants, and constraints on rental increases were reduced, albeit that tenants did retain some minima of rights, for example under the Landlord and Tenant Act and the Protection from Eviction Act Second, property was increasingly used as a source of finance for business, and similarly became source of profit for banks, mortgage lenders and real estate investment trusts. This fact drove changes in the market for mortgage regulation, while the growing financial interest in land tended to conflict with family life.

As the UK came closer to gender equality , women as much as men contributed to the purchase of homes, as well as contributing to raising families and children. In , in Pettitt v Pettitt , Lord Diplock remarked that "the wider employment of married women in industry, commerce and the professions and the emergence of a property-owning, particularly a real-property-mortgaged-to-a-building-society-owning, democracy" had compelled courts to acknowledge contributions to the home and family life as potentially generating proprietary interests. The membership of the United Kingdom in the European Convention on Human Rights meant that article 8, on the right to a private and family life, could change the freedom of banks or landlords to evict people, particularly where children's stability and upbringing were at stake, though by the early twenty-first century the case law had remained cautious.

The old common laws between neighbours, of easements, covenants, nuisance and trespass were largely eclipsed by locally and democratically determined planning laws, [36] environmental regulation, and a framework for use of agricultural resources. English land law draws on four main sources to determine property rights: the common law and equitable principles developed by the courts, a system of land registration, a continuing system for unregistered land, and the European Convention on Human Rights.

First of all, the courts of common law and equity gave people with "property" rights various privileges over people who acquired mere "personal" rights. To acquire property over land as with any other object of value , as opposed to a contract, for example, to use it, a buyer and seller simply needed to agree that property would be passed. The law then recognised a "property" right with various privileges over people with purely "personal" claims.

The best form of property would involve exclusive possession, and it usually bound anyone who attempted to interfere with an owner's use, particularly in cases of insolvency , if other people with interests in the land sold their stake to a third party, or in getting remedies to enforce one's right.

Before , property rights in land unlike, for example, a company's shares only had to be evidenced in paper title deeds. It was therefore believed that a system of land registration was desirable, so that people's rights over land would be certain, and conveyancing would be simpler and cheaper. So, the second system of land began with the Land Registration Act , and the rules were recast in the Land Registration Act Instead of paper title deeds determining people's property rights in land, the entries in the registry were the source that determine people's property rights.

However, many property rights were never expected to be registered, particularly the social claims that people had on family homes, or short leases. Furthermore, not all land had to be registered. Only when formal transactions with land took place did registration become a compulsory. This meant that by , 88 per cent of land or , square kilometres was registered with HM Land Registry. Though somewhat amended by legislation, this system for determining property rights and disputes remained much like the old common law and equity.

The legal relationship between landowners and farm dwellers - AgriOrbit

Fourth, and particularly important since the Human Rights Act allowed people to plead claims directly in the UK courts without having to wait for an appeal to Strasbourg , property rights were affected by an autonomous set of human rights under the European Convention. Not simply the common law, or land registration, but also people's right to a family life, privacy in one's home, and peaceful enjoyment of possessions, [39] could change the outcomes of property disputes.

Land law is also known as the law of real property. It relates to the acquisition, protection and conflicts of people's rights, legal and equitable, in land. First, "property rights" in Latin, a right in rem are generally said to bind third parties, [41] whereas personal rights a right in personam are exercisable only against the person who owes an obligation.

The main situations where this distinction matters are if a debtor to two or more creditors has gone insolvent i. If a person or a business has gone insolvent, and has things in their possession which are the property of others', then those people can usually take back their property free of anyone else's claims. Often, creditors can contract for a proprietary right known as a security interest to secure repayment of debts.

This gives the same result as having another proprietary right, so the secured creditor takes priority in the insolvency queue. In this way, property rights area always "stronger" than personal rights, even though they may be acquired by the same means: a contract. Most of the time, property rights are also stronger than personal because English courts have been historically more willing to order specific performance as a remedy for interference with property rights.

People with personal rights, such as to the performance of a contract , are presumptively entitled to money in compensation, unless damages would be an inadequate remedy. If there is a "trust" of land, then trustees hold legal title, while the benefit, use and "equitable" title might belong to many other people. Legal title to real property can only be acquired in a limited number of formal ways, while equitable title can be recognised because of a person's contribution, or the parties' true intentions, or some other reason, if the law deems that it is fair and just i.

The third main feature of the English law of real property is that "real" property or "realty" means land, and the things that goes with it, alone. This is classified as different from movables or other types of "personal" property or "personalty". The distinction matters mainly to define the scope of the subject matter, because there are different registration requirements, taxes, and other regulations for land's use. The technical definition of "land" encompasses slightly more than in the word's common use. Under the Law of Property Act , section 1 ix says land means "land of any tenure , mines and minerals, whether or not held apart from the surface, buildings or parts of buildings whether the division is horizontal, vertical or made in any other way and other hereditaments ; also a manor, advowson , and a rent and other incorporeal hereditaments, and an easement , right, privilege or benefit in, over, or derived from land First, land includes physical things attached to it e.

Perhaps in aspiration of appearing scientific, lawyers have become accustomed to describing property in land as being " four dimensional ". This becomes most relevant in disputes after a contract to sell land, when a buyer alleges a thing was included in a sale, but a contract was silent on the specifics. In Holland v Hodgson [47] Blackburn J held that looms installed in a factory formed part of the land.

Objects resting on the ground and "attached" only by gravity will not normally be part of the land, although it could be that the parties "intended" something different, or rather what the parties' reasonable expectations were. Easily removable things, like carpets and curtains, or houseboats, will not be land, but less easily removed things, like taps and plugs are. Public policy sets the limit in both cases, so since the 16th century Case of Mines the Crown has a claim to valuable minerals or natural resources that are discovered, as well as valuable treasure.

Since English law recognises two " estates " in land, or kinds of ownership interest: the " fee simple ", which is a right to use for an unlimited time, and a "lease", which is an interest for a fixed period of time. In all situations, however, use of the land is constrained by agreements or binding rights with neighbours, and the requirements of the local council and government.

Because land can serve multiple uses, for many people, and because its fixed nature means that its owner may not always be visible, a system of registration came to be seen as essential at the start of the 20th Century. From the Land Registry Act which created a body where people could voluntarily register, [52] a succession of government reports and piecemeal reform finally culminated in a unified, compulsory registration system with the Land Registration Act Theodore Ruoff, Chief Registrar from , said the main three functions the register served was 1 to mirror ownership interests in land 2 to curtain off minor, or equitable interests that could be bypassed or "overreached" in the land conveyance business, and 3 to provide insurance through Registrar funds to anyone who lost property as a result of register defects.

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With the Land Registration Act , which recast the old law, the Registry has focused on "e-conveyancing". Under sections 91 to 95, electronic registration counts as deeds, and aims to replace the paper filing for the 21st century. However, reflecting the social use of land, the priority system of land registration and the Register's record of all interests in land has made significant exceptions for informal methods of acquiring rights, and especially equitable interests, in land. Under the Land Registration Act sections 27 to 30, an interest in land that is registered for instance, freehold ownership, a long lease , or a mortgage will take priority to all other interests that come later, or are not entered on the register.

The first registered interest in time prevails. Yet under LRA Schedule 3, a series of exceptions, or "overriding interests" are listed. Under Schedule 3, paragraph 1, any lease that is less than seven years need not be registered, and will still bind other parties. The reason is to strike a balance between an owner who may well keep hold of land for a long period, and a person who may be renting as a home. Most socially significant, under Schedule 3, paragraph 2 formerly Land Registration Act s 70 1 g , the interest of a person who is in "actual occupation" need not be entered on the register, but will still bind later registered interests.

This rule was said to be necessary to prevent the social right to a home being "lost in the welter of registration". If such a person is in "actual occupation", then their informally acquired interest usually through " constructive trust ", which recognises their contributions of money or work toward family life will bind parties who acquire interests later on.

The loan was secured on his Beddington house, where he lived with Mrs Boland. However, Mrs Boland had not consented to the mortgage agreement. She was not registered on the home's title deeds, but she had made significant financial contributions to the home.

Law of the Land - Public Procurement Bill, 2012

Despite Templeman J at first instance saying Mrs Boland only occupied the house through her husband, the Court of Appeal, and the House of Lords both agreed that Mrs Boland actually did occupy her home, and that her interest bound the bank. Later cases have shown the test for actual occupation must be purposively, and liberally determined, according to the claimant's social circumstance.

So in Chhokar v Chhokar a lady who had been beaten and attacked by her estranged husband's friends to scare her from her Southall home, and who was at the time of her home being registered in hospital having Mr Chhokar's child, was still in actual occupation. This meant that because she had contributed to the home's purchase price, she was entitled to stay. Her interest bound, and took priority to, later registered interests. Under LRA Schedule 3, paragraph 2, only if a person is asked about their interest, and they say nothing, or if it is not obvious on a reasonably careful inspection, would a person in actual occupation lose to a registered party.

It has also been held that someone who occupies a house and has an interest in the home might have impliedly consented to taking subject to another party's later interest. In both cases the court held that because the buyers could not have got the house without the loan, there had been tacit consent by all to the bank taking priority, and no gap in time before registration when the spouse could have been said to be in prior actual occupancy.

Originally to facilitate transfers of land, the Law of Property Act sections 2 and 27 make provision so that people with equitable interests in land may not assert them against purchasers of the land if there are two trustees. If a person has an equitable interest in a property, the law allows this interest to be detached from the property, or "overreached" and reattached to money given in exchange for land, so long as the exchange took place by at least two trustees.

This was, however, applied not for the purpose of trading property by professional trustees, but against homeowners in City of London Building Society v Flegg. The House of Lords held that because the words of the statute were fulfilled, and the purchase money for the interest in the property i. Lastly, it is possible to lose an interest in land, even if registered, through adverse possession by another person after 12 years under the Limitation Act sections 15 to In , because registration of title was never made compulsory per se , 18 per cent of land in England and Wales remained unregistered.

Only if a transaction identified in the Land Registration Act section 4 took place, as under the LRA , would the land be compulsorily entered on the register. This included any sale, mortgage, or lease over seven years. However it still does not include a transfer by operation of law, and that means land can be inherited, or kept within the family, and never need be registered unless the Lord Chancellor amends section 4 by order. The first basic principle was that all legal property rights bound everyone, whether or not anybody knew about them. These would usually be in the deeds that were kept, though small interests like a lease of under three years would not because of its exemption from formality, as with registered land.

Being a bona fide purchaser was an "absolute, unqualified, unanswerable defence", [64] so that the person with an equitable interest would only have an enforceable right against the traceable assets received in return for the land. Being a purchaser for value meant not receiving the property as a gift, [65] and bona fide meant acting in good faith. In turn, good faith largely meant the same thing as buying the land without having any actual notice, [66] and it not being reasonable to have known, about another person's equitable interest.

On top of these basic rules, the Land Charges Act , following its predecessor, required that some kinds of charges had to be entered on another special register of charges for unregistered land. According to section 2, a puisne mortgage a second or third mortgage created after a property is already mortgaged had to be registered before it would be binding, even though it had previously counted as a legal property right.

Francis or Frank. Although the purchaser had actual notice of Geoffrey's equitable interest, it did not matter because it was not registered. In another example, it was held in Lloyds Bank v Carrick that a person in actual occupation of a home, who had an unregistered right to buy the home, could not claim an over-riding interest as would have been possible in registered land because the only source of the interest was the estate contract, and without registration this was void. In all three international organisations, the constitutional traditions of other member states gave courts a greater role in adjudicating on whether legislation complied with human rights.

With the Human Rights Act , the UK resolved to give its courts power to review legislation's compliance with the ECHR jurisprudence, primarily as a way of saving litigants the cost of exhausting the domestic court system and then appealing to Strasbourg. In the first cases under ECHR article 8, challenges were brought by tenants who had been evicted from their homes by local authorities. Against the arguments of claimants that their evictions were disproportionate responses and infringed their rights to a family or home life, the UK courts initially denied that UK property legislation would ever be incompatible with the Convention.

However, in Manchester CC v Pinnock , [81] after a number of cases in the European Court of Human Rights suggested otherwise, the UK Supreme Court accepted that courts must have the inherent jurisdiction to assess whether an infringement of one's right to a home life if someone is evicted is proportionate and justifiable.

On the case's facts, it was held that Mr Pinnock's eviction for the anti-social behaviour of his sons was proportionate. Although he was a pensioner, the complaints had been serious and long lasting. The cases under Protocol 1, article 1, primarily turn on the question of compulsory acquisition of property by the government. The Strasbourg courts distinguish between deprivation of property by actual acquisition, and limitation of the use of land by an owner through regulation, for instance of the environment.

While the establishment of the land law in England happened by invasion , conquest , enclosure and force , over the 20th century as a whole there was an increasing distribution of property ownership. The first is through a consent based obligation. This could be through a gift, or similarly the settlement of a trust , so that a trustee holds property for the benefit of another.

Most normally land will be transferred through an agreement by contract. In all cases, to complete a transfer, a person's interest should be registered to be fully protected. However, the law recognises people's interests in land even though they have not been acquired in a formal way. The second main way to acquire rights in land is through resulting or constructive trust, recognised by the court.

In the context of land, and particularly family homes, this will usually be to acknowledge the contribution someone has made to a home, financial or otherwise. Third, the courts acknowledge people have acquired land when they have been given an assurance, on which they have reasonably placed reliance, and the result would be detrimental if their interests were not recognised.

This proprietary estoppel claim is a way for people's interests to gain recognition although their dealing's with a land owner have fallen short of contract. Fourth, and the furthest departure from land acquired by a contract, English law has always recognised a claim by people who have inhabited land for long enough to have legally acquired their rights. The fact of possession, even if adverse to a previous owner, matures after 12 years into a sound legal right.

Four main ways of acquiring land are through a gift, trust, succession and by contract, all of which involve express or at least presumed consent. In the case of an ordinary gift during a person's life, the Law of Property Act section 52 1 requires a deed itself defined in the Law of Property Miscellaneous Provisions Act section 1 before any transfer is effective. Subsequently, a transfer must be registered. The Land Registration Act section 27 2 makes registration compulsory for all transfers of land, leases over seven years and any charges. If the transfer of land takes place through a will, the Wills Act section 9 requires in similar terms that the will be signed in writing and have two witnesses.

The beneficiary under the will must then take steps to register the interest in land in her name. In all situations, the requirement of formality is thought to improve the quality of people's consent. It has been reasoned, most notably by Lon Fuller , that going through the laborious motions of formality induces people to truly consider whether they wish to make a transfer. It also provides evidence of the transaction, and makes the threshold of a transaction's enforceability simple to determine.

If an interest in land is the subject of a contract, the law isolates three steps. First, the sale will take place, which according to LPMPA section 2 may only occur with signed writing though by section 2 5 and Law of Property Act section 54 2 leases under 3 years can be made without. Second, technically the transfer must take place under Law of Property Act section 52 1 by a deed though there is no reason why this cannot be combined with step 1, by using a deed for the sale!

Third, the land must be registered for the legal interest to take effect under LRA sections 27 to Although the formal steps of a contract, conveyance and registration will allow people to acquire legal interests in land, over the course of the twentieth century Parliament, and the courts, slowly recognised that many people have legitimate claims to property, even without following formalities, and even without gaining the consent of a property owner.

The institution of a trust has come to play a major role, particularly in family homes, because according to the Law of Property Act section 53, while declarations of express trusts require signed writing to take effect, resulting and constructive trusts do not. A "resulting" trust is typically recognised when a person has given property to a person without the intention to benefit that person, so the property jumps back to the person it came from.

In the context of family homes, these two types of trust allowed judges to recognise, from around , a spouse's proprietary right in a home because of the contribution broadly speaking to home life.

Documents of reference

Parliament had enacted the same reform already as a part of family law. In the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Act section 37, "where a husband or wife contributes in money or money's worth" to improve property, a court could recognise an equitable right in it, but also vary the amount to the extent it was deemed just. And under the Matrimonial Causes Act section 24, a court was empowered in divorce proceedings to vary the property rights of the parties, especially for the benefit of children, to the extent that was just.

In the Civil Partnership Act sections 65 to 72 and Schedules 5—7 achieved the same for civil partners. However, for cohabiting couples, with or without children, who are not married or civil partners, only the common law was available to make a claim, and it has been slow to reach a position achieved for married couples under statute.

In Gissing v Gissing , [88] a case before the passage of the family law statutes, a married couple had lived, worked and had a child together from to when the relationship broke down on his adultery. Mr Gissing had paid mortgage instalments and the property was in his name, although Mrs Gissing had made some home improvements.

Lord Denning MR in the Court of Appeal held that because they had continued life as a joint venture, even though she had made no quantifiable money contribution, nevertheless Mrs Gissing would have a half share in the property under a constructive trust. The House of Lords reversed this decision, arguing that no "common intention" could be found, as was said to be needed, for her to share in the home's equity.

Despite this, some cases creatively allowed for a constructive trust on the basis of "common intention" if unusual conduct was arguably evidence of wanting to share the home. In Grant v Edwards , [90] the Court of Appeal allowed a claim by Ms Grant who was explicitly told by her partner, Mr Edwards, that she could not be included on the house title deeds because it could affect her chances of a divorce proceedings.

This was, said the court, apparently evidence that if Ms Grant had had no divorce proceedings the couple must have intended to share the house together. Lord Bridge held that only if 1 a spouse made direct contributions to a home's purchase price, or 2 a spouse had actually reached some agreement, however uncertain, that a claim for an equitable interest would succeed.

This meant that Mrs Rosset, who was not on the title deeds, had made no financial contributions, but who had done much decorating work, could not claim an equitable interest in the home where she lived. This meant that the bank was entitled to repossess the home, following a default on Mr Rosset's mortgage loan, free from her interest in actual occupation. Nevertheless, if a court did acknowledge a spouse's contribution to the home, it could "inflate" the interest to whatever size possible as under the and Acts. This meant that Midland Bank was entitled only to half the equity value of the home after Mr Cooke defaulted on a loan with them.

The most recent set of cases appear, however, to have moved further. In Stack v Dowden [93] a couple with four children who lived together for 18 years had registered a house in both their names. However, Ms Dowden had contributed more money. Although not concerning the same point, Lord Walker noted that the law since Lord Bridge's decision in Lloyds Bank plc v Rosset "has moved on", regarding the question of what matters in quantifying people's shares in a home. The majority also remarked that in family situations, constructive trusts provided more utility where the court had greater flexibility to quantify people's interests free from tangible financial contributions, and that resulting trusts were more appropriate to commercial relationships, where the quantification of a person's interest would more match financial contributions.

However, from to , Mr Kernott had moved out, and Ms Jones was raising the children, paying the mortgage and the house expenses. In the Privy Council, in Abbott v Abbott Baroness Hale more squarely affirmed that the "parties' whole course of conduct in relation to the property must be taken into account in determining their shared intentions as to its ownership.

Proprietary estoppel is the third principal mechanism to acquire rights over property, seen particularly in the case of land. Unlike a contract or gift, which depend on consent, or resulting and constructive trusts that depend primarily on the fact of contribution, a proprietary estoppel arises when a person has been given a clear assurance, it was reasonable of them to rely on the assurance, and they have acted to their detriment.

This threefold pattern of proprietary estoppel clear assurance, reasonable reliance and substantial detriment makes it consistent with its partner in the law of obligations, " promissory estoppel ". In all cases it allows people who act on others' assurances about legal rights, even without them attaining express agreement. For example, in Dillwyn v Llewelyn , a son was held to have acquired a house from his father because he was given a written notice that he would, despite never having completed a deed for conveyance, after the son spent time and money improving the property.

Proprietary estoppel case law has, however, divided on the question of what kind of assurance and what kind of reliance must be present. In Cobbe v Yeoman's Row Management Ltd , a property developer claimed an interest in a group of Knightsbridge flats after his expense in obtaining council planning permission. By contrast, in Thorner v Majors , David a second cousin worked on Peter's farm for 30 years and believed he would inherit it.

The legal relationship between landowners and farm dwellers

Even though no specific assurance, and only some vague conduct indicating an assurance, was present, the House of Lords held that David had a good proprietary estoppel claim. Lord Hoffmann remarked that if a reasonable person could understand, however oblique and allusive, that an assurance was given, a legal right would accrue. The tendency of the cases is therefore to recognise claims more in the domestic context, which less formal assurances are common, and less so in the commercial context, where formality is normal. A difficult issue, however, in awarding a remedy for estoppel is that unlike a contract it is not always apparent that a claimant should receive the full measure of what they had expected.

By contrast, the factual pattern of estoppels, which often appear something very close to a contract, often seem to warrant more than an award for damages to compensate claimants for the amount of detriment, or loss, as in a tort case. In Jennings v Rice , Robert Walker LJ tackled the issue by emphasising that the purpose of the court's jurisdiction was to avoid an unconscionable result, and to ensure that a remedy was based on proportionality.

Mr Jennings had been told he "would be alright" and more so that "this will all be yours one day". In relation to third parties, the remedy for proprietary estoppel has been confirmed to bind others by the Land Registration Act section Although land may be acquired by consent, and conduct which raises another party's reasonable expectations, these private methods of acquiring land are often insufficient for adequate public regulation. Historically, compulsory purchases were carried out under the Inclosure Acts and their predecessors, where enclosure of common land was frequently a method of expropriating people from common land for the benefit of barons and landlords.

In the industrial revolution , most railways were built by private companies procuring compulsory purchase rights from private Acts of Parliament, [] though by the late 19th century, powers of compulsory purchase slowly became more transparent and used for general social welfare, as with the Public Health Act , or the Housing of the Working Classes Act Typically, either central government represented by a Secretary of State, or a local council will be interested in making a compulsory purchase.

The authority of local councils for make purchases for specific reasons can be set out in specific legislation, such as the Highways Act to build roads when strictly necessary.


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However the Town and Country Planning Act section , [] which allows compulsory purchase to "facilitate the carrying out of development, re-development or improvement" for the area's economic, social, or environmental well being, must be confirmed by the Secretary of State, and similarly the Local Government Act section requires the council seek approval from the government Minister, a time-consuming process which prevents compulsory purchase being carried out without co-ordination in central government. Because of property's social importance, either for personal consumption and use or for mass production, [] compulsory purchase laws have met with human rights challenges.

One concern is that since the s privatisations, many compulsory purchase powers can be used for the benefit of private corporations whose incentives may diverge from the public interest. In R Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd v Wolverhampton CC [] the Supreme Court held that Wolverhampton City Council acted for an improper purpose when it took into account a promise by Tesco to redevelop another site, in determining whether to make a compulsory purchase order over a site possessed by Sainsbury's. Lord Walker stressed that "powers of compulsory acquisition, especially in a "private to private" acquisition, amounts to a serious invasion of the current owner's proprietary rights.

By contrast, in James v United Kingdom [] Gerald Grosvenor, 6th Duke of Westminster , the inherited owner of most of Mayfair and Belgravia , contended that leaseholders' right to buy had violated their right to property in ECHR Protocol 1, article 1. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Leasehold Reform Act , which allowed tenants to purchase properties from their private landlords, was within a member state's margin of appreciation.

It was competent for a member state to regulate property rights in the public interest. Another issue of whether regulatory or planning decisions in general might breach property rights has not been important for the United Kingdom. In a divided case by the US Supreme Court called Lucas v South Carolina Coastal Council [] a majority held that if a regulation prevented a property owner developing land in this case to preserve coastline beaches compensation would have to be paid.

This has not been followed in most of the rest of the Commonwealth, [] and in Grape Bay Ltd v Attorney General of Bermuda [] the Privy Council advised that a decision by a democratic legislature is better than a court to determine issues of social and economic policy in relation to property. Here, McDonald's attempted to sue Bermuda for passing legislation to prevent it opening a restaurant as a breach of "property rights" under the Bermudan constitution, which it said consisted in the expectation of being able to run a business and various contractual arrangements to that end.

Lord Hoffmann held that there was no such violation of property, noting that the "give and take of civil society frequently requires that the exercise of private rights should be restricted in the general public interest. The most contentious method of acquiring property, albeit one that has played a huge role in the history of English land, is adverse possession.

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Historically, if someone possessed land for long enough, it was thought that this in itself justified acquisition of a good title. This meant that while English land was continually conquered, pillaged, and stolen by various factions, lords or barons throughout the middle ages , those who could show they possessed land long enough would not have their title questioned.

A more modern function has been that land which is disused or neglected by an owner may be converted into another's property if continual use is made. Squatting in England has been a way for land to be efficiently used , particularly in periods of economic decline. Before the Land Registration Act , if a person had possessed land for 12 years, then at common law, the previous owner's right of action to eject the "adverse possessor" would expire.

The common legal justification was that under the Limitation Act , just like a cause of action in contract or tort had to be used within a time limit, so did an action to recover land.


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This promoted the finality of litigation and the certainty of claims. Provided the common law requirements of "possession" that was "adverse" were fulfilled, after 12 years, the owner would cease to be able to assert a claim. However, in the LRA adverse possession of registered land became much harder. The rules for unregistered land remained as before. But under the LRA Schedule 6, paragraphs 1 to 5, after 10 years the adverse possessor was entitled to apply to the registrar to become the new registered owner.


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The registrar would then contact the registered title holder and notify them of the application. If no proceedings were launched for two years to eject the adverse possessor, only then would the registrar transfer title. Before, a land owner could simply lose title without being aware of it or notified. This was the rule because it indicated the owner had never paid sufficient attention to how the land was in fact being used, and therefore the former owner did not deserve to keep it. Before , time was seen to cure everything.

The rule's function was to ensure land was used efficiently. Designed for use by land managers and primary producers, this information explains in simple terms the laws, codes and regulations relevant to the operation and or ownership of a rural property in Victoria. Land owners have a number of legal obligations in managing biodiversity on their farms.

It is important to check the legal implications of any action that may affect native plants and animals. Read more about legal information for biodiversity management. Land owners have a responsibility to manage chemicals on their property in a way that does not adversely affect their neighbours and to ensure produce is free from unacceptable chemical residues.

Farms are inherently dangerous workplaces. Farmers and farm workers are more likely to be seriously injured or die at work than other Victorians. Read our introduction to occupational health and safety. Livestock producers must manage their livestock in a way that provides for the health and welfare of the animals as well as producing livestock that deliver premium quality product.

From a beginning of small, largely self-sufficient landowners, rural society became dominated by latifundium , large estates owned by the wealthy and utilizing mostly slave labor. The growth in the urban population, especially of the city of Rome, required the development of commercial markets and long-distance trade in agricultural products, especially grain, to supply the people in the cities with food. Agriculture in ancient Rome was not only a necessity, but was idealized among the social elite as a way of life. Cicero considered farming the best of all Roman occupations. In his treatise On Duties , he declared that "of all the occupations by which gain is secured, none is better than agriculture, none more profitable, none more delightful, none more becoming to a free man.

In his treatise De agricultura "On Farming", 2nd century BC , Cato wrote that the best farms contained a vineyard , followed by an irrigated garden, willow plantation, olive orchard, meadow, grain land, forest trees, vineyard trained on trees, and lastly acorn woodlands. Land ownership was a dominant factor in distinguishing the aristocracy from the common person, and the more land a Roman owned, the more important he would be in the city.

Soldiers were often rewarded with land from the commander they served. Though farms depended on slave labor, free men and citizens were hired at farms to oversee the slaves and ensure that the farms ran smoothly. Staple crops in early Rome were millet , and emmer and spelt which are species of wheat. Wheat was the preferred grain, but barley was widely eaten and also important as animal feed. The Romans grew olive trees in poor, rocky soils, and often in areas with sparse precipitation.

The tree is sensitive to freezing temperatures and intolerant of the colder weather of northern Europe and high, cooler elevations. The olive was grown mostly near the Mediterranean Sea. The consumption of olive oil provided about 12 percent of the calories and about 80 percent of necessary fats in the diet of the average Roman. Viticulture was probably brought to southern Italy and Sicily by Greek colonists, but the Phoenicians of Carthage in northern Africa gave the Romans much of their knowledge of growing grapes and making wine.

By BCE, the cultivation of grapes on large estates using slave labor was common in Italy and wine was becoming a universal drink in the Roman empire. To protect their wine industry, the Romans attempted to prohibit the cultivation of grapes outside Italy, [11] but by the 1st century CE, provinces such as Spain and Gaul modern day France were exporting wine to Italy.

The Romans also grew artichoke , mustard , coriander , rocket , chives , leeks , celery , basil , parsnip , mint , rue , thyme 'from overseas', beets , poppy , dill , asparagus , radish , cucumber , gourd , fennel , capers , onions , saffron , parsley , marjoram , cabbage , lettuce , cumin , garlic , figs , 'Armenian' apricots , plums , mulberries , and peaches.

In the 5th century BC, farms in Rome were small and family-owned. The Greeks of this period, however, had started using crop rotation and had large estates. Rome's contact with Carthage , Greece, and the Hellenistic East in the 3rd and 2nd centuries improved Rome's agricultural methods. Roman agriculture reached its height in productivity and efficiency during the late Republic and early Empire.

Farm sizes in Rome can be divided into three categories. Small farms were from 18— iugera. One iugerum was equal to about 0. Medium-sized farms were from 80— iugera. Large estates called latifundia were over iugera. In the late Republican era, the number of latifundia increased. Wealthy Romans bought land from peasant farmers who could no longer make a living. Starting in BC, the Punic Wars called peasant farmers away to fight for longer periods of time. Cows provided milk while oxen and mules did the heavy work on the farm.

Sheep and goats were cheese producers and were prized for their hides. Horses were not widely used in farming, but were raised by the rich for racing or war. Sugar production centered on beekeeping, and some Romans raised snails as luxury food. The Romans had four systems of farm management: direct work by owner and his family; tenant farming or sharecropping in which the owner and a tenant divide up a farm's produce; forced labour by slaves owned by aristocrats and supervised by slave managers; and other arrangements in which a farm was leased to a tenant.

Cato the Elder also known as "Cato the Censor" was a politician and statesman in the mid-to-late Roman Republic and described his view of a farm of iugera. He claimed such a farm should have "a foreman, a foreman's wife, ten laborers, one ox driver, one donkey driver, one man in charge of the willow grove, one swineherd, in all sixteen persons; two oxen, two donkeys for wagon work, one donkey for the mill work.

There was much commerce between the provinces of the empire, and all regions of the empire were largely economically interdependent. Some provinces specialized in the production of grains including wheat, emmer, spelt, barley, and millet; others in wine and others in olive oil , depending on the soil type. Columella writes in his Res Rustica , "Soil that is heavy, chalky, and wet is not unsuited to the growing for winter wheat and spelt. Barley tolerates no place except one that is loose and dry. Greek geographer Strabo considered the Po Valley northern Italy to be the most important economically because "all cereals do well, but the yield from millet is exceptional, because the soil is so well watered.

Volcanic soil in Campania made it well-suited for wine production. In addition to knowledge of different soil categories, the Romans also took interest in what type of manure was best for the soil. The best was poultry manure, and cow manure one of the worst. Sheep and goat manure were also good. Donkey manure was best for immediate use, while horse manure wasn't good for grain crops, but according to Marcus Terentius Varro , it was very good for meadows because 'it promotes a heavy growth of grass plants like grass.

More land would be required to meet subsistence levels if the family farmed as sharecroppers. Such figures detail only the subsistence level. It is clear that large scale surplus production was undertaken in some provinces, such as to supply the cities, especially Rome, with grain, a process known as the Cura Annonae. Egypt , northern Africa, and Sicily were the principal sources of grain to feed the population of Rome, estimated at one million people at its peak. For yields of wheat, the number varies depending on the ancient source.