Chapter

Invoking Section 17 of the 1882 Act

Lord Denning

in The Due Process of Law

Published in print January 1980 | ISBN: 9780406176080
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191705113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780406176080.003.0030
Invoking Section 17 of the 1882 Act

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This chapter discusses the most controversial example of the judicial role in Law Reform, namely, the invention of the deserted wife's equity. Here, the author was well supported for twelve years by his colleagues, but scorned by commentators. As he was unable to obtain protection for a deserted wife, he proceeded himself on the very words of section 17 of the Married Women's Property Act 1882. In case of any question between husband and wife as to the title to or possession of property, that section authorised any judge of the High Court to ‘make such order with respect to the property in dispute as he thinks fit’. It was only in 1978 that the Law Commission made their Report on the Matrimonial Home.

Keywords: Law Reform; deserted wife's equity; Married Women's Property Act; High Court; Law Commission

Chapter.  1273 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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