Alex Bogach wins Real Property Section essay competition

  • June 07, 2016

The CBA Real Property Law Section is pleased to announce that Alex Bogach is the winner of its 2nd annual essay competition. The award was established to promote and reward interest in real property law topics in Canadian law schools.

Bogach is a third-year student at Queen’s University Faculty of Law. He completed his undergraduate studies at Huron University College in London, Ont., with a Bachelors of Political Science. He was a 2015 summer student at Torys LLP in Toronto and will begin his articling there in August 2016.

Bogach's paper is published on the Section website (in English only). Here is an abstract of his winning paper, A Place in Common Space: State Property Ownership and Common Spaces in Canada:

The state’s ownership of common spaces, like city streets and parks, is unlike any other form of property ownership. Canadian jurisprudence indicates there is something that makes the state categorically different from a private property owner beyond being subject to the Charter. However, Canadian courts still defer to state ownership objectives as if the state were a private owner. This paper argues that Canadian courts must depart from interpreting the state as a private property owner and instead must critically evaluate, interrogate and supplant the state’s ownership objectives by integrating the broader social context, relationships and history rooted in common spaces. The paper will examine two strands of Charter litigation involving common spaces: protestors with s. 2(b) and the homeless with s. 7 to illustrate the benefits of moving away from a private property perspective and towards a contextual and historical understanding of the state’s property rights.