Real Estate E-Conveyancing: Vision and Risks
Information & Communications Technology Law Volume 19, Issue 2, 2010, DOI 10.1080/13600834.2010.494047
23 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2012 Last revised: 24 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 20, 2010
More then 150 years had passed since English solicitors expressed their vision of a land registration system in which land transactions are quickly and smoothly registered at the same manner in which securities are transferred in the stock exchange. This vision led to the development of the Torrens system and to its expansion in various sides of the globe. Yet the reality of land conveyancing was far from accomplishing this old vision. The process of registration in many jurisdictions suffered from bureaucratic delays and was, and in many jurisdictions still is, based on analogical paper-based documentation system. Though many systems had gone through a computerization process, it dealt with the presentation of manually entered information rather than direct and automatic registration of digital applications. It was only the last decades of the twentieth century that brought to reality the idea of real estate e-conveyancing according to which a land transaction should be automatically processed and registered from the stage of the application to the stage of final registration. A few countries made a great deal of effort to develop such a system but yet there is a way ahead until its conclusive implementation. Israel land registry is going to launch an e-registration project as well. The article analyzes the vision of e-conveyancing and compares it to the current progress of the e-conveyancing projects around the world. It shows that the safe identification of parties, documents and signatures is the major problem of all the newly developed e-conveyancing systems and that this problem is the main obstacle that prevents a full scale implementation of e-conveyancing.
Keywords: land law, real estate, land registration, land records, e-commerece, electronic conveyancing, biometric identification, electronic signature, comparative law, israel, torrens system
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