Jacques v Secretary of State for the Environment: CA 1995

The Inspector had found that the landowner had, by overt acts directed at users of the way in question, including the erection of locked gates and of fencing and of notices, disproved any intention on his part to dedicate.
Held: The landowner’s appeal succeeded. Laws J reflected on the conjunction in the statutory scheme of use as of right, in the sense of use in the belief of such right, and the sufficiency of evidence on behalf of a landowner of an intention not to dedicate, and said: ‘Quite plainly, the second part of section 31(1) imported a further requirement. It meant that even if use of the required quality was proved, the status of right of way would not be established if the landowner demonstrated an intention not to dedicate. The logical relationship between the two parts of the subsection entailed that proof of an intention not to dedicate could be constituted by something less than proof of facts which had to have made it clear to the public that they had no right to use the way: otherwise, once the interested public had established their case under the first part of the subsection, there would be no room for the operation of the second part. That was not a very satisfactory state of affairs. It was plain that the landowner had to disprove an intention to dedicate by overt acts directed to the members of the public in question, but equally plain that they need not actually bring home to the public that there was no right to use the way. He could only conclude that any sufficiently overt act or series of acts indicating an intention to keep the way private would be enough for the landowner’s purposes in relation to the second part of the subsection, though they did not bring home to the public his objection to their using his land.’ The requirement for actual dedication was like one from Alice in Wonderland.
Laws LJ
[1995] JPL 1031
Highways Act 1980 31(1) 31(2)
England and Wales
Appeal fromJacques v Secretary of State for the Environment QBD 8-Jun-1994
Public right of way must be established by enjoyment as of right for 20 years. . .

Cited by:
CitedGodmanchester Town Council, Regina (on the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs CA 19-Dec-2005
The court considered whether a pathway had become a public highway.
Held: ‘The main question for the Court is whether sufficiency of evidence of an intention not to dedicate necessary to satisfy the proviso requires, as a matter of law, that . .
CriticisedGodmanchester Town Council, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs HL 20-Jun-2007
The house was asked about whether continuous use of an apparent right of way by the public would create a public right of way after 20 years, and also whether a non overt act by a landowner was sufficient to prove his intention not to dedicate the . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for Wales Ex Parte Emery CA 9-Jul-1997
The applicant had sought to have included in the definitive map, a local footpath, and now challenged refusal to include it.
Held: A public right of way may be created by dedication or it may be deemed after actual use by the public over . .
CitedJones v Welsh Assembly Government Admn 15-Dec-2008
The County Council had made an order under section 53, establishing a footpath over the claimant’s land. The land owner now appealed. The court had previously quashed the inspector’s decision on the basis that he had not allowed for the interruption . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 June 2021; Ref: scu.236555