The Importance Of Private Property In Canada

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The importance of private property in Canada is evident in the protection offered by the legislature and jurisprudence. Numerous acts, like the Law of Property Act or the Residential Property Act, protect the property rights of an individual. Laws like these prohibit the state, and private citizens, from with interfering another person’s property. However, there are certain circumstances, such as an Anton Piller order, where these rights are not protected. These are justified on the basis that the public interest that seizing the property outweighs the societal protection of property. However, the justification for seizing property under civil forfeiture is not as evident. Which raises the question: given the numerous ways that property is …show more content…
The first specifically focuses on use, noting that if the property is being used for an illegal activity, than the Court has the power to seize that property. The second mechanism is not as clearly based on the justification of civil forfeiture, given that it is concerned with how the property was acquired. However, this can be framed such that it ultimately does concern the use of property. Namely, the concern with how the individual is disposing of property that was acquired through illegal means. That is, the state is not only concerned with how property is being used in the intern to commit illicit acts, but also how any profits are spent. There are other indications of the justification underlying the Act. For example, section (1) uses telling language when defining key words. The Act defines ‘property’ quite broadly, and includes rights, interests, property at equity, or “any right or interest that can be transferred for value from one person to another”. No property types are immune from forfeiture, indicating that state approved functions for property are the only relevant consideration when evaluating if an individual should be allowed to keep any sort of …show more content…
A justification based on the use of property is generally known as the ‘Desert Theory’ of property. David Annis and Cecil Bohanon provide a workable definition of the Desert Theory. They write,
“The agent is viewed as more responsible for the benefit (or harm)... as the person 's conduct is more strongly ‘linked’ to the outcome, this determines whether the person deserves a certain response.”
That is, an individual is justified in having property when the outcomes of the use of the property are considered to be a legitimate purpose. There is a relationship drawn between how the agent is using the property, and whether they should be allowed to keep that property.
Framing the justification of property law through this justification is helpful to understand its application in this instance. It can be stated as: if an agent’s actions are linked to a certain outcome, and they are deemed responsible for harm, than they might not be justified in having that property. Applied specifically in the circumstances of civil forfeiture, the Act appears to be founded on the basis of the use of property, and concluding that they should not be able to keep that property in certain

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