Conway and Stannard, ‘The Emotional Paradoxes of Adverse Possession’

Property lawyers are generally viewed as a serious lot, not prone to feverish bursts of excitement as we seek comfort and solace in established legal rules and precepts. In the same way, property law disputes tend to have a fairly low profile and fail to capture the public imagination in the same way as, for example, those involving criminal or human rights law. Such apparent indifference might seem a little strange, given the centrality of property in everyday human life and the significance which legal systems and individuals attach to property rights. However, there is one issue which always inflames passions amongst lawyers and non-lawyers alike: the acquisition of land through the doctrine of adverse possession, often described as ‘squatter’s rights’. No property-related topic is likely to light up a radio show phone-in switchboard quite like squatting.

Conway, Heather and Stannard, John E., The Emotional Paradoxes of Adverse Possession (May 16, 2013). (2013) 64 (1) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 75-89.

First posted 2013-05-18 13:34:10

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