Current Research Themes

  • Trusts & Property

    The connection between trusts and property, both real and personal, is well known. From questions about co-ownership and trusts of land, to formalities for express trusts, to issues of unconscionability and fraud, trusts play a pivotal role in our understanding of how people use, enjoy and monetise land. 

  • Land registration & title systems

    Title to land in England & Wales is governed largely by the Land Registration Act 2002, although there are pockets of unregistered title. This research stream focuses on both the policy and the detail of the Land Registration Act 2002 and incorporates comparative analysis of systems in other jurisdictions such as the Torrens systems in Australia and New Zealand. Members of the Centre are currently engaged in assessing potential reforms of the 2002 Act and are advising land registries in other jurisdictions about the development of title systems. In 2016-2018, Martin Dixon, Emma Lees and Amy Goymour acted as advisers to the Law Commission in respect of their project, Updating the Land Registration Act 2002. In 2019, members of the Centre contributed to a volume of essays on aspects of world wide title systems, to be published as New Horizons for Torrens (2020), edited by Grindlinton and Thomas (Centre Fellow). The Centre welcomes proposals for collaborative research and can provide expert advice.


    Associated Centre Members: Professor Rod Thomas, Dr Simon Cooper, Professor Elizabeth Cooke, Professor Martin Dixon.

  • Landlord & Tenant Law

    The relationship of landlord and tenant is one of the most common, and most complex, relationships in common law systems.

    The Centre is engaged in research covering all aspects of this relationship: residential and business tenancies; public and private sector landlords; agricultural tenancies. 

    Members of the Centre have been engaged in professional practice as well as academia and welcome research proposals from governmental and non-governmental organisations.


    Associated Centre Members: Dr Juanita Roche, Professor Emma Lees, Ms Lauren Fullerton, Professor Martin Dixon.

  • Environmental & social impact of land ownership

    Property law does not exist in a vacuum and this research stream combines the legal with the practical, with special focus on the environmental and social impact of the way land ownership is organised. 

    Members of the Centre have expertise in environmental regulation of land use and the development of environmental policy. A particular speciality concerns the constitutional and legal implications of indigenous land issues and the rights of peoples to sovereignty and enjoyment of territory.


    Associated Centre Members: Professor Emma Lees, Salma Duncan.

  • Land Law & Public Policy

    Land law is not sterile nor static. It responds to the way people actually use land and how society views land use and land ownership. This research stream analyses how the law responds to, and shapes, land use and how economic and social policies interact with legal principles.


    Associated Centre Members: Professor Paul McHugh, Dr John Goldsworth, Edward Ti, Douglas Maxwell, Ms Lauren Fullerton.