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Adverse Possession and Lasting Improvements to Wrong Land, Report 33

Adverse possession has a long history in the common law of England, Canada, and Alberta. It originated as a common law doctrine used to determine a person’s rights to land. In today’s Alberta, it involves two people: the person in actual possession of the disputed property (the occupier) and the registered owner of the disputed property (the registered owner). The essential common law elements of adverse possession are: -the registered owner must be out of [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:24:18-06:00February 15th, 2020|Adverse Possession|0 Comments

Uniform International Commercial Arbitration, Final Report 114

In this Report, ALRI recommends that Alberta adopt the Uniform International Commercial Arbitration Act (2014). ALRI’s recommendations are intended to bring Alberta’s international commercial arbitration law up-to-date with current international standards. Why is Change Needed? Alberta’s current International Commercial Arbitration Act is based on uniform legislation developed in 1986. The Alberta Act has fallen behind the advances that are being made internationally and in other provinces. By updating its legislation, Alberta will catch up to those jurisdictions [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:24:34-06:00March 6th, 2019|Project|0 Comments

Property Division: Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners, Final Report 112

The Alberta Law Reform Institute recommends changes to the law for how common-law couples divide property if their relationship breaks down. This Report also recommends changes to the law for married couples who lived together before marriage and for adult interdependent partners who are not common law couples. Why is Law Reform Needed? 2016 Census data indicates that 320,260 Albertans consider themselves to be in common-law relationships. If common-law couples break up and cannot agree how [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:24:49-06:00June 4th, 2018|Project|0 Comments

Competence and Communication in the Alberta Evidence Act, Final Report 111

On occasion, a court must determine whether a proposed witness is competent to give evidence. The question arises with child witnesses and may also arise for adults with cognitive impairment. Alberta legislation reflects outdated assumptions about children’s abilities and fails to address adults with cognitive impairment. It also has a gap affecting witnesses who use alternative means of communication. Other Canadian jurisdictions have already reformed legislation to address these issues. The Alberta Law Reform Institute [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:24:56-06:00January 1st, 2018|Project|0 Comments

Interprovincial Recognition of Substitute Decision-Making Documents, Report 32

Substitute decision-making documents (also called powers of attorney, proxies, personal directives, etc...) delegate authority to one person to act on behalf of another with respect to financial, property or legal affairs and/or personal or health care matters. A valid substitute decision-making document must conform to the laws of the jurisdiction where it is executed. Execution requirements, however, are not uniform across jurisdictions. As a result, a substitute decision-making document may not be recognized outside of [...]

By |2020-04-15T17:08:21-06:00December 1st, 2017|Project|0 Comments

Property Division: Living Together Before Marriage, Report 31

It is not uncommon for couples to live together before getting married. In some cases, they will acquire significant property, such as a home, furniture and a vehicle. While the Matrimonial Property Act [MPA] applies a presumption of equal division to property acquired during the marriage, it exempts the property acquired before the marriage. Consequently, the original value of that property is not divided on separation or divorce; only the increase in value of that property, from [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:25:07-06:00October 31st, 2017|Project|0 Comments

Property Division: Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners, Report 30

In recent decades, it has become increasingly common for couples to live together without being legally married. Couples who live together in a marriage-like relationship without being legally married are often said to be living in a common-law relationship. In Alberta, there are no legislated rules for property division upon the breakdown of a common-law relationship. The Matrimonial Property Act applies only to married spouses. Property division for common-law partners is based on legal ownership and the [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:25:21-06:00September 30th, 2017|Project|0 Comments

Abolition of Perpetuities Law, Final Report 110

The rule against perpetuities is an ancient and complex set of legal rules designed to prevent people from indefinitely tying up land and assets via successive contingent interests of title so that future generations cannot sell, mortgage or enjoy full use of the property. In 1972, Alberta reformed the worst excesses of the rule against perpetuities in our current Perpetuities Act, seeking a reasonable balance between competing interests. Following public consultation, the Alberta Law Reform [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:25:39-06:00March 1st, 2017|Project|0 Comments

A New Trustee Act for Alberta, Final Report 109

Trusts are used by many Albertans as a way to manage property and assets, both before and after death. Having modern and clear rules for setting up and handling trusts is important to allow Albertans to manage and distribute their property. The current Trustee Act is outdated and has not kept pace with the modern world. ALRI has just released Final Report No. 109 - A New Trustee Act for Alberta. The Report sets out ALRI’s [...]

By |2020-08-05T12:25:46-06:00January 1st, 2017|Project|0 Comments

Perpetuities Law: Abolish or Reform?, Report 29

Perpetuities law is a complex set of legal rules designed to prevent people from indefinitely tying up land and assets for an excessive period of time so that future generations cannot deal freely with the property. But has the time come to abolish perpetuities law in Alberta? Do other modern legal rules now exist which could handle the situation better or more simply? Or should perpetuities law be retained but extensively reformed? Have your say [...]

By |2020-03-23T10:26:24-06:00April 1st, 2016|Project|0 Comments