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Land Registration and Landownership Security: An Examination of the Underpinning Principles of Registration

Abdulai, RT and Ochieng, EG (2017) Land Registration and Landownership Security: An Examination of the Underpinning Principles of Registration. Property Management, 35 (1). pp. 24-47. ISSN 1758-731X


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Purpose: The assertion that land registration guarantees landownership security is
common knowledge. Thus, efforts at securing landownership in particularly, the developing
world have concentrated on the formulation and implementation of land registration policies.
However, over the years, whilst some studies claim that land registration assures security,
a lot of other studies have established that security cannot be guaranteed by land
registration. Also, there is evidence from research that has shown that land registration can
be a source of ownership insecurity in some cases. This paper critically analyses the
underpinning principles of land registration and their application in order to establish
whether or not land registration can actually guarantee ownership security.
Design/methodology/approach: It is a literature review paper that looks at the existing
literature on landownership, security and land registration systems. The land registration
principles that have been subjected to critical analysis are the publicity function of land
registration, the legality of ownership emanating from land registration and the warranty
provided by the State in land registration, specifically, under the Torrens system.
Findings: An analysis of the underpinning principles of land registration shows that land
registration per se cannot guarantee ownership security and this helps to explain the
findings of the numerous studies, which have established that landownership security
cannot be assured by land registration. The paper concludes by identifying the right role of
land registration as well as a mechanism that can effectively protect or secure
Practical implications: Land registration policies and programmes in the developing world
are often funded by the international donor community and the findings provide useful
insights regarding the actual role of land registration and for policy change in terms of what
can secure landownership.
Originality/value: Even though there are two schools of thought regarding research on the
link between land registration on one hand, and landownership security on the other, none
of the studies has made an attempt to consider the nexus by critically examining the
principles that underpin land registration to support their arguments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism And Services, 12 Built Environment And Design
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Publisher: Emerald
Date Deposited: 25 May 2016 10:26
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 12:53
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/PM-09-2015-0051
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3662
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