Possession of land
This article deals with how to bring a claim for the recovery of land. To do this, the
plaintiff does not have to prove he has absolute title, he only needs show that he has a
better title than the defendant. This can be done in various
Property Rights Do Not Inhere In All Things
Not everything can be owned - there are things over which a person cannot claim property rights.
Spectacles (like a horse race).
Human stem cells.
Common law an
When one has property rights over chattel (personal property), he may bring actions against people who
interfere with those rights. These actions are:
Trespass - where there is an interference with the plaintiff's actual
This topic introduces key themes in the areas of property law and equity:
The distinction between ownership in a physical sense (I am holding a pen)
to legal ownership, whereby one has the bundle of rights.
Right to exclude
The following cases or observations flow on from McPhail:
Selwyn Bibby v Suintra Pratap:
An order may be suspended if owner acquiesces to trespassing - in McPhail, the
owner did not 'acquiesce' to the defendants trespassing (
Conversion occurs where the owner of goods is deprived from his right to
possession, or that right is impaired.
For examples, a person taking and selling or modifying goods which
belong to another (he is thus depriving him from his rig
Distinction Between Real and Personal Property
Traditional Classification and Terminology
The basic and traditional distinction in property is as follows:
Real Property: Land. Divided into two sub-categories:
Corporeal hereditaments - rights of posses
Doctrine of Fixtures
The doctrine of fixtures provides that personal property may become real property if it is annexed
(attached) to land.
In other words, if a chattel is affixed to or placed on land, it may become a part of the land,
and even tra
Relativity of titles
According to the theory of relativity of titles (advanced by Hargreaves), a plaintiff can
bring a claim for the recovery of land as long as he can prove that he has a superior
title to that of the defendant
The theory of relativi
Conversion is also discussed in The Winkfield, which deals with whether bailee's are allowed to bring an
action in conversion:
A wrongdoer must treat a bailee as the owner of the goods for all purposes irrespective of
the rights and obligati
Rights In Rem and Rights In Personam
When a person has legal rights, they can be either:
Rights in personam: rights against a person.
For example, rights arising from a contract can only be enforced against the other
person in the contract.