Hamill, S. (2011). “Private Property Rights and Public Responsibility: Leaving Room for the Homeless”. Windsor Review of Legal and Social Issues, 30, pp. 91-114.
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This paper uses the recent case of Victoria (City) v Adams to examine how Canadian law guarantees or restricts access to publicly accessible property. The paper argues that the understanding and view of property in Adams is in keeping with the Supreme Court of Canada’s jurisprudence on publicly accessible property. By comparing public property with private property, the paper argues that in Canada all property is seen as private property and is protected as such. The paper argues that the current understanding of property is unacceptable because it leaves no room for those who have no private property rights. It looks at other models of property to see if they leave room for those with no property of their own. The paper then moves on to argue that the common law, despite understanding all property as private, leaves room for those who have no property of their own. This feature of the common law of property has often been overlooked, however, resulting in laws that are unworkable and unacceptable.
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