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Roberts v Swangrove Estates Ltd and Others

[2008] Ch 439 and [2008] 2 WLR 1111

Court: Court of Appeal
Date of Judgment: 20.02.08
Frank Hinks QC, Thomas Braithwaite

At first instance, the Crown obtained title to the bed of the River Severn on the grounds of adverse possession. Relying on legal textbooks and authorities going back 500 years Mr Roberts claimed that there is a substantive constitutional rule that the Crown could not in law disseise a subject of his land and could not therefore plead adverse possession of land so acquired.

Appearing on behalf of the Crown Estate Commissioners we were successful in persuading the Court that there is no such constitutional principle and that the Crown can gain title by adverse possession in like manner as a subject.

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