It follows a ruling in Best v. Chief Land Registrar  EWCA Civ 17 that a criminal trespasser can acquire title to land via adverse possession.
The Court of Appeal upheld a decision which allowed a squatter to obtain title to land by adverse possession, despite the trespass becoming a criminal offence pursuant to section 144 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 if the trespasser "lives" in a residential building (squatting in a commercial property remains purely a civil matter).
The case raises a wider issue as the situation becomes further complicated by the concept of land utility and the potential public benefit to be gained by allowing a system of adverse possession to ensure land is not abandoned or sterilised.
In Best, the Court sided with the criminal trespasser because it held that Parliament did not intend for the Act to adversely affect adverse possession. The Court also declined to be drawn into a debate about adverse possession dovetailing into the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and how it might apply to criminal trespass and adverse possession.