Fraud Against the Registrar — An Unnecessary, Unhelpful and Perhaps, No Longer Relevant Complication in the Law of Fraud under the Torrens System
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019, 09:24 by Natalie Skead;Penny Carruthers
Under the Torrens system of land registration it is irrefutable that, pursuant to the fraud exception, a fraudulent registered proprietor does not acquire an indefeasible title. There are two clear categories of cases in which the fraud exception may arise: (1) where a prior registered proprietor has been defrauded out of his or her interest; and (2) where an unregistered interest holder has been defrauded out of his or her interest. In both cases the fraud exception will only apply if the fraud can be brought home to the current registered proprietor or his or her agent. In addition to these two undisputed categories, cases and commentary suggest that there is a third category of fraud case: (3) where there has been a fraud committed against the Registrar, most commonly as a result of a false attestation. Again, the fraud exception will only apply in this third category if the fraud can be brought home to the current registered proprietor or his or her agent. This paper seeks to establish that the notion of fraud against the Registrar is an unnecessary, unhelpful and perhaps, no longer relevant complication in the law on fraud under the Torrens system.