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Title: Fundamentals of property law : possession, title and relativity
Author: Rostill, Luke
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 954X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis is concerned with the doctrine of title by possession and the doctrine of relative title. Many property lawyers believe that these doctrines are elementary, important and interesting. But, while virtually everyone accepts that possession of land or chattels is a source of title and that titles are relative, the doctrines have long been a focus of debate. The nature of possession, the nature of the possessor's title, and the relationships between possession, relative title and ownership have been particularly contentious. Accordingly, this thesis seeks to provide sound answers to the following questions: (1) what, in this context, is possession? (2) What is the nature of the title that is acquired by taking possession of land or chattels? (3) Does English law recognise landownership and chattel-ownership?-and, if it does, is a person who acquires, by virtue of his or her possession, a title to land or chattels the (or an) owner of the land or chattels? It is argued in Chapter 2 that, for the purposes of the doctrine of title by possession, the general rule is that a person is in possession of land or chattels if and only if she has: (i) a sufficient degree of exclusive physical control; and (ii) an intention to possess. Chapters 3-5 are concerned with the second question. It is argued that, upon obtaining possession, a person acquires, in cases involving land, an estate in fee simple absolute in possession and, in cases involving chattels, a general property interest. Chapter 6 is concerned with the third question. It is argued that English law does recognise landownership and chattel-ownership; and that a person who acquires a title by obtaining possession of land or chattels owns the land or chattels if her title is supreme but not if it is inferior.
Supervisor: McFarlane, Ben ; Swadling, William J. Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Right of property ; Law ; Possession ; Relative title ; Ownership ; Property Law