Case details

Boston-Whylly and others (Appellants) v Eleuthera Properties Ltd (Respondent) (Bahamas)

Case ID: JCPC 2017/0029

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Case summary


Whether the Court of Appeal was wrong to find that the respondent had established possession over the property so as to give it title ahead of the competing claims of the appellants; whether the original gift violated the rule against perpetuities.


A parcel of land of about 2,086 acres on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas was owned by Ann Millar, who made a gift of the property to certain named beneficiaries and their descendants in her will of 1869. In March 2010, the respondent filed a petition in the Bahamas Supreme Court seeking the investigation, determination and declaration of its documentary title to the property. This petition was contested by various adverse claimants, including the current appellants, who claimed that they held legal and possessory title to the property. After an investigation, the judge granted a certificate of title to the respondent on the basis that there was good root of title and the gift in the will was void for breach of the rule against perpetuities, thereby making the adverse claimants’ purported legal title to the land void. She further concluded that on the evidence before the court, she was not satisfied that any of the claimants had sufficient possessory title to oust the asserted documentary title of the respondent. The Eleuthera Association, Emily Hall and the Whyllys (the appellants in this appeal) all appealed to the CA. The CA upheld the judge’s decision.


  1. Dora Adrella Boston-Whylly
  2. Bristo Walton Whylly
  3. Thomas Whylly Jr

Eleuthera Properties Ltd



Lord Sumption, Lord Briggs, Sir Rupert Jackson, Lord Menzies (Scotland), Sir Ben Stephens (Northern Ireland)

Hearing start date

17 Jul 2018

Hearing finish date

19 Jul 2018

Watch hearing
17 Jul 2018 Afternoon session
18 Jul 2018 Morning session Afternoon session
19 Jul 2018 Morning session