Ben-Pelech v Royle: Adverse possession alive and well in Western Australia

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This article analyses the 'elusive balance' between the Torrens system concept of indefeasibility of title for registered owners of land and the notion of adverse possession. In this regard, the article reviews the recent Western Australian Court of Appeal decision in Ben-Pelech v Royle which clarified the operation of some aspects of land law in WA, including the operation of s123 of the Property Law Act and s 163 of the Transfer of Land Act. Importantly, this case also applied traditional adverse possession concepts to ultimately find that the title of the registered owner had been extinguished by 12 years continuous possession by the adverse possessor. The article provides a critique of the decsion and questions whether the 'winner-takes-all' approach of WA’s adverse possession law provides an appropriately nuanced outcome that is in the public interest.
Original languageEnglish
Article number95 ALJ 169
Pages (from-to)169-172
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


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