Australian Story About Crown Land Patents

Published December 1, 2013
Crown Land Patent

Crown Land Patent

From Australia comes a story about a Senator who considers Crown Land Patents important documents that guarantee property rights. According to Wikipedia, Len Harris, a self-employed businessman and gold miner, was a Senator for Queensland from July 2, 1999 to June 30, 2005. In Australia, Senators are elected and normally serve a six-year term.

Like Canada, Australia is historically linked to Britain and is a constitutional monarchy. Among other things, we share the process of transferring Crown land to private ownership through Crown Grants and Letters Patent. Senator Harris has prepared a diagram which shows the relationship of property rights and fee simple from the Great Seal of the United Kingdom to Legislation and Title to Land.

He makes two very provocative statements: first, that “the state has the power to create legislation in relation to land, but it cannot override any of the rights that the sovereign has granted us in relation to our title” and second, that “a lot of the legislation that our state governments create conflicts with our rights under the Property Law Act”. The Property Law Act is a state law passed in Queensland in 1974.

We can draw many parallels from the Senator’s article to the situation in Canada where provincial and municipal legislation are taking our lands without compensation and are thereby interfering with our right of title to our property.

You can read what Senator Len Harris had to say about the Letters Patent and property rights at Property Rights and Fee Simple.

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