Much has been written and said about the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament, and understandably the focus has been the impact this may have on Brexit.
What has not been widely mentioned is the (perhaps unintended) consequences that the prorogation of Parliament has on Bills (particularly Private Members’ Bills) making their way through Parliament and which have yet to receive final approval in the form of Royal Assent.
One such Bill is the Property Boundaries (Resolution of Disputes) Bill, which had been making its way (albeit rather slowly) through the House of Lords.
The objective of the Bill was to address disputes over property boundaries and rights of way and to direct how parties finding themselves in a dispute should resolve their differences. It is widely known that boundary disputes, in particular, can have serious financial impacts on those concerned, as well as adversely affecting neighbourly relationships. The intention of the Bill was to provide for mandatory expert determination of boundary disputes by a surveyor before the commencement of any Court proceedings, reducing the need for the parties to become involved in potentially lengthy and costly Court litigation.
Whilst there has not been widespread consensus on whether the Bill (as proposed) would fulfil its aims in practice, the debate on whether or not the Property Boundaries (Resolution of Disputes) Bill would achieve its stated objective is now at an end. There seems little prospect of the Bill being reintroduced in the foreseeable future (if at all).