Confirming Torrens Orthodoxy: The High Court Decision in Cassegrain v Gerard Cassegrain & Co Pty Ltd
A later version of this article was published in (2015) 24(1) Australian Property Law Journal 211
23 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2015 Last revised: 9 Nov 2015
Date Written: 2015
For Australian property lawyers, the High Court’s recent decision in Cassegrain v Gerard Cassegrain & Co Pty Ltd (Cassegrain) is a welcome and valuable addition to our Torrens library. This case raised a number of important questions relating to indefeasibility, fraud, agency and joint tenancy in a Torrens context. In dealing with these issues the majority of the High Court adopted Torrens orthodoxy and confirmed: the immediately indefeasible nature of a registered proprietor’s title; the limitation of the fraud exception to fraud by the registered proprietor or his or her agent; the need to establish an agency relationship before assessing whether an alleged agent’s fraud can be imputed to the registered proprietor; the consistent meaning ascribed to fraud throughout a Torrens statute; and the defeasibility of a non-fraudulent volunteer’s registered title where that title is derived from or through a person who acquired title through fraud. This article examines and critically analyses the Cassegrain series of cases.
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