Unlawful Killing of a Joint Tenant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In circumstances where one joint tenant unlawfully kills another joint tenant the case law is consistent in providing a legal response to deny the wrongdoer from benefiting from the killing. However, in achieving that objective different responses have been applied including severance of the joint tenancy at law or in equity or the imposition of a constructive trust. The author examines the case law in the United States, Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand and argues that there are difficulties with the responses of the courts because in some circumstances they are too generous to felons and in other circumstances they are unfair to victims. To overcome these difficulties the author advocates for a legal response whereby the victim is assumed to still be alive and the felon retains the right to sever the joint tenancy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-240
JournalAustralian Property Law Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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