Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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    Compulsory maintenance of the Land Register: an exception to the fundamental principle of a conclusive register underpinning the Land Registration Act 2002
    Park, M. M. ( 2004)
    The experience of the then Australian colonies in introducing land title registration in the nineteenth century provides a vantage point to observe and provide commentary on the recently enacted Land Registration Act 2002.The author offers the observation that the legislative draftsperson has, perhaps inadvertently, included an exception to what the Law Commission described as ‘the fundamental principle’ of a land registration system, that of the conclusive register wherein interests not recorded in the register have no legal effect. Thus, pursuant to the adverse possession provisions of the Act, it is possible for a trespasser or squatter to acquire an unassailable title to registered land without that title being disclosed on the register. The conclusion, based on the Australian experience, is that the advantages of registered title land are insufficient to overcome the inertia of interest holders and mandatory participation in the registered title system is essential for the integrity of the register.