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Property Law The History Of Land Law In Ireland Notes

BCL Law Notes > Property Law/ Land Law Notes

This is an extract of our Property Law The History Of Land Law In Ireland document, which we sell as part of our Property Law/ Land Law Notes collection written by the top tier of University College Dublin students.

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2009 - land of conveyance law actFeudal tenure abolished

A few exceptions:

Some residual tenure out there, means we need to know the tenure system that had existed before
Very much a common law system, we inherited it from England
Haven't abolished it yet in England and Wales
Lawyers have to be able to decipher old deeds and titles even now.

Ownership of landA misleading concept - the person does not really own the land, they own an ESTATE in the land
You have an interest in the land and that's what the estate is, in comparison to owning the land outstraight
You have certain rights in relation to that land for a certain period of time
Reasoning? The feudal system of tenure
The system that existe from the 12th century still is very influential on contemporary property law.

An estateinvolves a legal relationship a legal interest may vary the duration for which you hold the land

Tenureis the terms on which you own the land introduced by Anglo-Normans in the 12th century.
It was well suited to the structure of society at that time and relationships
However, as capitalism arose, things changed and there was an alteration in land ownership
To understand how the feudal land ownership, you must understand the society

The feudal system of Land OwnershipIntroduced in England in 1066 - normans came from france to England and introduced their ownership functioning
Came to Ireland w/ modifications
Gap of about 100 years between introduction to England and introduction to Ireland
Around 1171-72
Took several hundred years for Anglo law to settle in Ireland

2 simplified phases:

1. Around 1170s •

Granted areas of land to Anglo-Norman lords who came over with a conquest
This land was already owned by indigenous Irish
It involved superimposing a ruling class onto an already ruled class.
The aim - A.N remain as members of the ruling class but the two cultures inter-married So this theory fell apart

• 12-15c Brehon law > new laws existed side by side

2. Around 1600s / 17th c

• Plantation introduced

• Feudal system - not just new law, new system completely

THE NEW SYSTEMThe MANOR is the basic unit of the system
It consisted of the castle which held the Lord
Immediately around castle was the Lords Demesne
The unenclosed fields - usually 2/3
The people who lived in the village surrounding castle were serfs/ villeins
They were bound to the manor, where they worked and stayed and they weren't free to move to a diff. manor.
The fields were striped, with some parts being left fallow and others used
Only a bit of the fields was used to provide them with sufficient food for themselves and a bit extra for lord and family
They'd each have a strip, and on certain days they'd have to work in the domain on special stripes restricted to the Lord's usage

DISTRIBUTION OF LANDThe King would grant land to the 'tenants in chief'
Barrons would have large amounts of land and would grant it to people lower in the social chain and so on
Very bottom would be the peasants/ serfs
The class of people in society determined what rights over land you had
Land could not be bought and sold
It was only given/ granted
In return, you would owe them services/ incidents
These would depend on type of estate given
There was no land that was 'allodial' > without a Lord
So, everything derived from the King
Basically, relationships determined land ownership and land was very much about this rather than actual ownership of the land under 'law'
Unless you were at the bottom or top, you'd owe something to someone and was owed from someone else
The person granting would be the landlord or landholder
The person they granted it to would be a tenant
The relationship between these, would be called seisin

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