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SQUATTERS AND THE CRIMINAL LAW: CAN TWO WRONGS MAKE A RIGHT?

  • Amy Goymour

Extract

DOES wrongdoing by a squatter prevent him from acquiring title to another person's land via the law of adverse possession? The answer is plainly “no” where the squatter is a civil, tortious wrongdoer: the law not only condones, but positively requires a successful adverse possession claimant to have committed the tort of trespass over the true owner's land (this condition is inherent in the requirement that the squatter's possession be “adverse”). But what happens where the tortious acts that establish the squatter's adverse possession also constitute a criminal offence? This was the tricky question facing the court in Best v The Chief Land Registrar [2014] EWHC (Admin) 1370.

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The Cambridge Law Journal
  • ISSN: 0008-1973
  • EISSN: 1469-2139
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-law-journal
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