A recent ruling could herald a radical change to the assessment of dependency claims by foreign nationals overstaying in Britain. Philip Noble reports

An overstayer may be able to rely on their illegal residence to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 according to a recent ruling by the High Court.

In Witowska v Kaminski [2006] EWHC 1940 Ch, Mr Justice Blackburne ruled that a cohabitant was entitled to rely on their residence in this country as an illegal overstayer to establish a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Dependants and Family) Act 1975.

The case follows on from the House of Lords ruling in the case of Mark v Mark [2005] UKHL 42 which signalled a new approach to the doctrine of illegality in a number of areas of law. In general as the law then stood, a person was not entitled to rely on their...

Jean Yves

IICJ

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