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Cohabitants, property and the law: a study of injustice

Douglas, Gillian, Pearce, Julia and Woodward, Hilary Diana 2009. Cohabitants, property and the law: a study of injustice. Modern Law Review 72 (1) , pp. 24-47. 10.1111/j.1468-2230.2009.00732.x

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Abstract

With cohabitation outside marriage becoming increasingly common, the law's response to the problems that arise on separation has become a key issue for public and family policy. This article draws upon the findings of a qualitative empirical study of how property disputes are handled when cohabitants separate. It argues that the unfairness of the current law is best understood as stemming from a failure to recognise the situation that arises as one of unjust enrichment. It shows that the complexity and unpredictability of the law make it difficult to bargain effectively in the shadow of the law. It suggests that the need for reform goes beyond the introduction of a discretionary regime, such as that proposed by the Law Commission, to reform of conveyancing and property law and practice to facilitate initial, as well as post-separation private ordering.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0026-7961
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:20
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/19985

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