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Land (Bona Vacantia Claims)

Volume 894: debated on Tuesday 24 June 1975

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asked the Attorney-General what are the duties of the bona vacantia division of the office of the Procurator General and Treasury Solicitor in respect of establishing Crown title to land which is, or may be, bona vacantia.

The Treasury Solicitor is empowered to assert a claim to any property, including land, which is, or may be, bona vacantia "whenever he shall judge it expedient to do so." He is not required, as a matter of law, to assert such a claim.The question of establishing the Crown's title to land normally arises in the administration of the estate of a person dying intestate and without known kin. Where the Treasury Solicitor undertakes the administration—that is, where such an estate is solvent—his duties in relation to any land forming part of the estate are those of any other administrator.In other circumstances where the Crown may be entitled to land, for example, on the dissolution of a company, or on the failure or determination of a trust, the Treasury Solicitor investigates the facts and, if it appears that the Crown's title

is doubtful, or that the land is valueless or onerous, it is his practice not to assert a

bona vacantia claim.