Sunday, 24 July 2011

Introduction to Land Law

Having just finished my first chapter to Land Law i'm looking forward to the course ahead.

It would seem that the basis for Land Law began with property statutes of 1925, namely, Law of Property Act 1925Land Registration Act 1925 Further reforms developed in the latter half of the 20th Century with the Land Charges Act 1972 and the Land Registration Act 2002

It's interesting how the law identifies 5 dimensions to land. When land was mapped out by Ordnance Survey we see only 2 dimensions to the identification of land. Adding a 3rd dimension with the maxim Cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad coelum, (whoever owns [the] soil, [it] is theirs all the way [up] to Heaven and [down] to Hell), property rights in particular in early centuries meant that the owner of land owned everything above and below. However in recent years with the advent of air travel and precious coal and resources under the ground this maxim seems to have lost it's original meaning. The 4th dimension of the 'doctrine of estates', meaning that a person doesn't actually own a property outright but rather a 'slice of time' in the property means that ultimately all property belongs to the Crown. The 5th and final dimension to land ownership is the quality of ownership where 2 people can both own in their right a property....one in legal terms, the other in equity gaining a benefit.

The first chapters of Gray and Gray and also Dixon really sets up this course. It looks complex, immense and a challenge.

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