Registration of the process through which interests in land are recorded so as to facilitate the ascertainment and it makes effective any intended dealings or transactions in relation to property and once duly carried out registration has the effect of passing an interest in land in favour of the person so registered.  Because of those virtues, registration has been identified with two main functions that of serving as a documentary manifestation of land as a commodity making it a commodity to be dealt with in the market while at the same it provides as a mechanism for providing vital information regarding the quantum of rights held by individuals with regard to a given property.  It vests to you all the details one may need before they undertake any dealings on a property and facilitates any transfer thereof.

A system like this needs to be based on some principles and by far the most important source from which these principles have been drawn is the so called Torrens System named after Sir Richard Torrens who formulated the same in 1958 in South Australia from where it later spread to other parts of the world.  Most jurisdictions embrace this system because of its demonstrable superiority over other systems.  It is significant because it provides a new and improved information system on property in the form of a register and the register contains all the material facts about a particular property.  Other than that, in such a register would be entered all such information so that they can be accessed and a document of title would be issued to the owner upon such property changing hands through subsequent transactions.  The document of title in respect of property would be surrendered to the new owner and the information would be effected in the proper register so that the necessary changes can reflect all the material details and indicate the true status as regards among other things ownership of the property or any other interests which affect such ownership.  In effect it leads to a creation of a public record on property full of information of the kind that would be of interest to anybody wishing to have any dealings in such property.  By creating a public record system there is the element of security of such a title or title assurance which does offer a measure of protection to the person the bona fide purchaser without notice who may wish to acquire such a property in future.   In contrast to an unregistered land system, there is no risks or uncertainties whatsoever as to the ownership including whether there are claims acquired, whether it has been charged all these things would be disclosed in the register.  There are guarantees that come with the registration since it is government maintained.

There are principles relating to the Torrens System
The mirror principle – this relates to the accuracy or certainty or conclusiveness that entries in the register in as far as the true status of the title is concerned.  We take whatever is found in the register as accurate and conclusive on what it purports to inform us about;  we expect to get all material details including true position of ownership, the interests or other rights to which such ownership could be subject.  The history of how this property has changed hands if at all the first time and at any time changing hands might have taken place.  Mirror principle stands for transparency in shedding light about what the position is and once we have accepted the principle there is the element of confidence and assurance that we are not having any hidden factors or interests that may be adverse to the interests of the parties concerned.
Insurance Principle – this relates to the fact that since the state has undertaken to establish and maintain this sort of system, the state by extension guarantees that there would be indemnity offered to compensate anyone who may suffer loss as a result of mistakes in the register or merely by reason of the fact of operating that system itself that in event of injury or damage arising out of such circumstance, there is a state run system that will compensate any person who suffers loss to the extent of such loss.
Indefeasibility -     This is to the effect that once registered as the owner of an interest and such interest duly disclosed or entered in the register the rights acquired cannot be defeated by any adverse claims which are not disclosed in the register.  The register is a public document and open for inspection by the public so that the presumptive position is that everyone will be deemed to know.  Discoveries can be made of material details which would affect a person in one way or another and it is good public policy that the openness allows you to know any adverse interest before one goes very far with the transaction one can seek explanations.  Once we’ve got all these guarantees, we shouldn’t allow them to be defeated by any hidden claims and the registers should be open for any one to see.  The idea of public notice provided for by keeping a policy of an open register should work towards strengthening the rights of an individual with an interest.
Curtain Principle – this relates to the requirement that the register should disclose precisely the nature of the interests and who are the owners.  There should be no position of where one holds interests in a hidden way and all trusts should not be kept in the register and where for instance land is registered on a trust it would be a requirement that such land should not be held blindly under such a trust and must be registered in the names of specific persons and subject to appropriate restrictions the names of the owners being registered.

These were drawn from the system that Torrens came up with.


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