Title: Has the system of land registration achieved its aims? Discuss.
Word length: 1735 (including footnotes)
In 1925, Parliament introduced a system of land title registration, where the title to land across England and Wales would be compiled. The Land Registration Act 1925 ('LRA 1925') planned to create a 'one-stop shop', to eventually eradicate the need for individual title deeds. Subsequently, the Land Registration Act 2002 ('LRA 2002') set out the law of land registration, representing an attempt to improve and modernize the relevant legislation. The core objectives of both Acts remained the same, which is ultimately to promote marketability of land. Some argue that the system has failed in its attempt to achieve this due to the presence of overriding interests, especially relating to third party rights, which are not registered in the Land Register. However, this essay seeks to argue that overriding interests were a deliberate exception to the Register, and the LRA 2002 has in fact achieved a delicate balance between promoting marketability and protecting these disorganised interests, and in doing so realised its objectives.
The 'mirror principle'
The system of registration under the LRA 1925 and 2002 was intended to optimise the market in land, by promoting simplification of conveyancing, transparency, free alienability and the protection of vulnerable interests. Central to this is the mirror principle, where the Land Register is supposed to reflect all rights in rem germane to the land. From the position of a prospective purchaser of a piece of land, there are two questions which would take immediate priority. Firstly, the title question - if the title holder actually has the rights he claims to possess (nemo dat principle); and secondly, the adverse rights question - if there are any third party rights over the...