Business /commercial law revision kit question and answer

In relation to law of property:
(a) Distinguish between ownership and possession. (4 marks)
(b) Explain the ways in which ownership can be acquired. (6 marks)
(c) Discuss the ways in which a person can lose ownership (6 marks)
(d) Distinguish chooses in action from chooses in possession giving examples of each.


(a) Ownership:
• Confers certain basic rights over the property for example rights to exclusive use, possession, misuse and disposition.
• The proprietor may part with possession choice.
• It is a question of law.

• This is the mere fact of holding or control of the property.
• It does not generally confer proprietary rights.
• It is a question of fact.

(b) Acquisition of ownership
• Asserting ownership over things not previously owned any other person.
• Adverse possession
• Purchase from a previous owner
• Without the owners consent, e.g. court order
• Inheritance
• Intestacy.

(c) Loss of ownership
• By a voluntary act e.g. transfer
• Retransfer
• Operation of law, e.g. death or bankruptcy
• Displacement new owner (adverse possession).
• Destruction of tangible assets.
• Lapse of time or discharge for tangible assets.
• Abandonment.
• Extinction or forfeiture

Chose in action
• These are intangible rights which can only be enforced court action.
• They are not capable of physical possession e.g. debts, patents etc.

Chose in possession
• These are tangible things or subject matter, capable of physical possession e.g. land, motor vehicles etc.

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