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Home in Australia: Meaning, Values and Law?


Samuel Tyrer

This article argues for an expansive understanding of home as an experience, and so pushes beyond the traditional bounds of (home)ownership – either freehold or leasehold ownership – as restricted to house. Home – the desired experience motivating the article – is a feeling of security, self-expression, and relationships and family. Laws, it is argued, must embody certain conditions for individuals to experience home in this way, and these are discussed. Overall, the article’s contribution is to encourage future legal research into whether specific Australian laws are perpetuating an inferior experience of home for some individuals because they undermine conditions for home set out herein. However, the article recognises that home is a challenging concept. As such, an important qualification is that the arguments presented about what home is, and the conditions under which it is achieved, are informed but not definitive. The subjective experience of home will likely differ between individuals. That said, the discussion of home in this article has ample support in the literature.

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(2020) 43(1) UNSWLJ 340: