Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Common Land Definition:

Land that, ownership notwithstanding, is available for the use and enjoyment of all, or for the use or enjoyment of a class of persons.

Related Terms: Park

Property, mostly real property (land) which is used by one or more persons who have no ownership interests in the land, directly or indirectly.

The modern definition is of lands which are available for public use or enjoyment, such as parks, sidewalks or highways.

Historically, the law of common land was essential to England and even the early history of North America, both of which relied heavily on the unfettered grazing of their livestock. Thus, in England, one older definition (Gadsen) is that:

"Common land may be described as land over which rights of common are exercised. A right of common is the legal right of one or more persons to take some part of, the produce of, or the wild animals on the land of another person."

Statutes have given the term a new meaning in the context of condominiums or strata; the common land being owned by the strat corporation but to the exclusive enjoyment of the corporate shareholders or strata title holders.


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