22nd May 2014
The issue was whether the government, by purchasing land for the public purpose of a highway, had declared the land a public highway. A road had been constructed in Trinidad during World War II for use by the American forces. When it was no longer needed, the road was handed back to the government of Trinidad and steps were taken to acquire the road for public use. The appellants later established a business and car park on land that had been acquired for the road. The High Court was upheld by the Court of Appeal in its determination that the disputed land had been declared a public highway. The Privy Council allowed the appeal. On the facts, there had been no public right of way over the disputed land and so it was not part of the public highway. Further, on the evidence, the appellants had established adverse possession.