Written answers

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Registration of Title

8:00 am

Photo of M J NolanM J Nolan (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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Question 402: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the proposals he has for the introduction of e-conveyancing in view of the difficulties being encountered by the public in ensuring a speedy and efficient conveyancing delivery; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2316/07]

Photo of Michael McDowellMichael McDowell (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; Tánaiste; Dublin South East, Progressive Democrats)
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In April 2006, the Law Reform Commission published a Report entitled "eConveyancing: Modelling of the Irish Conveyancing System". This Report, and the accompanying consultancy report by BearingPoint, contains the first detailed 'end-to-end' process model of the entire conveyancing process in Ireland. It contains a comprehensive overview and analysis of the role of the various stakeholders in the conveyancing process and their state of readiness for eConveyancing.

The Report also made a number of recommendations concerning the practical implementation of an eConveyancing system, including the establishment of an eConveyancing Project Board to oversee developments. This Board is currently putting in place a work programme which will include information briefings for stakeholders and a range of pilot projects. I would therefore urge all stakeholders to engage with and participate in this work programme in order to ensure the success of the project.

An important precondition for the introduction of a comprehensive eConveyancing system is the extension of compulsory registration of land ownership in the Land Registry and eventual closure of the Registry of Deeds. For this reason, one of the main functions of the new Property Registration Authority established under the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006 is to promote and extend the registration of land ownership. I expect that the Authority will set out its strategy for achieving this objective in its first strategic plan which it is in the process of drafting at present.

I should add that reforms contained in the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill 2006, which is currently awaiting Second Stage in the House having been passed by the Seanad, will update and simplify the law relating to the ownership and conveyancing of land in order to bring it into line with modern conditions and this will also assist introduction and successful implementation of eConveyancing.

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