Trespass to Land

Trespass to land is a legal concept in tort law that deals with the unauthorised entry or intrusion onto another person's property or land without permission or a lawful right to do so. Here are some key points regarding trespass to land:

Wrongful interference: Trespass to land occurs when someone intentionally enters onto another person's land without permission or a lawful right to do so. It can also occur if someone remains on the land after their permission to be there has expired or been revoked.

Lack of harm requirement: In most cases, it is not necessary to prove that harm was suffered as a result of the trespass. The act of unauthorised entry itself is considered a violation of the owner's property rights and is actionable per se.

Liability for negligence: While most trespasses to land are intentional, some jurisdictions recognise liability for trespass committed negligently. This means that a person may be held liable for unintentional intrusions if they arise from negligence or involve a highly dangerous activity.

Elements of trespass: To establish a claim for trespass to land, the following elements must generally be present: (a) intentional entry or interference, (b) without permission or lawful right, and (c) onto another person's land.

Subsoil and airspace: Land ownership includes not only the surface but also the subsoil and airspace above the land. However, the absolute dominion over the subsurface and airspace is limited by legal principles and court rulings.

Remedies: Remedies for trespass to land may include injunctions to prevent further trespass, damages to compensate for any harm or loss suffered, or the removal of the trespasser from the property.

Defences: Defences to trespass to land include license (permission to be on the land), justification by law (statutory authority to enter the land), necessity (vital to commit the trespass to protect life or property), and jus tertii (claiming the land is possessed by a third party).

Trespass to land is a specific legal concept and should not be confused with other legal issues related to property, such as disputes over ownership or boundaries.
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