Adverse possession and Article 1 of the European Convention

Sukhninder Panesar, Jane Wood

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    In the post-human rights era the question has arisen on several occasions as to whether the automatic and arbitrary termination of the registered owner’s title through the common law and statutory principles governing adverse possession of land is contrary to the Article 1, Protocol 1 of the European Convention. The matter fell to be decided in J.A. Pye (Oxford) Ltd v United Kingdom ([2005] 3 EGLR 1) where the European Court of Human Rights held that the automatic termination of a registered owners title after 12 years possession was indeed a violation of Article 1, Protocol 1. More recently, the decision of the European Court has been overturned by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights where the Grand Chamber has held that a squatters’ right to another persons land are not disproportionate (J. A. Pye (Oxford) Ltd and Another v United Kingdom, The Times, October 1st 2007). This short article examines the decision of the Grand Chamber.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-88
    JournalLiverpool Law Review
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

    Bibliographical note

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    • adverse possession
    • human rights
    • Article 1 of the European Convention
    • squatters rights
    • limitation and proportionality


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