Overselling the Mirror and Curtain Principles of Land Titling

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Two forms of the land registration component of land administration systems are normally distinguished: deeds registration and title registration. In the latter the register is supposed to reflect the correct legal situation (“mirror-principle”), and there is no need for further (historic) investigation beyond the register (“curtain principle”). In reality, as shown in recent student work, both these principles do not work out as simple as this sounds. The mirror is either very incomplete (allowing for overriding interests) or tends to put the title before reality, even if the title has been acquired through manipulation. The curtain is lifted, and buyers want easy (on-line) access to earlier transaction documents to verity themselves how the current right holder on the title came into that position. With the proclaimed advantages of title registration not real, and some disadvantages still there, also the legal framework of fit-for-purpose land administration needs to be rethought.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResponsible Land Governance
Subtitle of host publicationTowards and Evidence Based Approach, Washington, D.C. March 20-24, 2017 : Proceedings of the Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty
Place of PublicationWashington, D.C.
PublisherThe World Bank
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017
Event18th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2017: Responsible Land Governance: Towards and Evidence Based Approach - Washington, United States
Duration: 20 Mar 201724 Mar 2017
Conference number: 18


Conference18th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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