Forgery and the Land Registration Act 2002: The Marginalisation of Discretion

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This paper examines recent developments in the law governing the alteration of the land register under the Land Registration Act 2002, in situations where the registration of a purchaser has been obtained by the forgery or other fraud of a third party and the original registered proprietor objects. Alteration of the land register is ostensibly governed by schedule 4 of the Land Registration Act 2002, which gives the court and the registrar a discretionary power to alter the register, taking into account factors like the extent to which either party has contributed to the situation by his own fraud or lack of proper care and who is in possession of the land itself. However, this discretion has been marginalised by the recent cases that address the problem of registration in response to forgery or other fraud. While these cases pull in opposite directions, with one line of authority favouring automatic alteration in favour of the original registered proprietor and the other favouring an automatic refusal to alter in favour of the purchaser, both are argued to be inconsistent with the policy of the statute.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2013

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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