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Regime Change In Conveyancing: The Dawning Of The Electronic Conveyancing National Law A Victorian Perspective

695 words - 3 pages

Few vocations offer the diversity for career specialisation like the law. Indeed the breadth of the lawyer’s knowledge pervades so wholly over our collective lives that it is almost forgotten until such time as it is called for, and squirrelled away in a corner is the toiling general practitioner subsisting on probate; or the thousands-of-dollars-a-day Queen Street criminal barrister who garners the public imagination as being a lawyer in the apogee of their career. Yet, in recent months there has been a seismic shift in the policies and procedures that regulate one highly-specialised area of law and it has passed almost unnoticed by the community en masse despite its substantial effect on the most significant and stressful event of their lives. In spite of this, the value of specialist practitioners within this area of law: both to the community and to the profession-at-large, is increasingly meaningful.

This year the Reform Council of the Council of Australian Governments (‘COAG’) – after several years of workshopped pipe dreams, ham-fisted attempts and inter-jurisdictional hostility – implemented a homogenous national method for the processing of conveyancing transactions in the greatest upheaval to real property law since the universal adoption by the several colonies of the Torrens system of title almost one hundred and forty years previous.

Particularly in the last three decades, society has undergone a sustained – almost irrevocable – digital overhaul, and the law at times has been conspicuously inflexible in its resistance to change. This is particularly prevalent in my area of practice: conveyancing. Courts within several Australian jurisdictions have had some manifestation of Electronic Data Interchange (‘EDI’) for ever-expanding litigious matters for twenty years. , Whilst it can be argued that technology at last has the capacity to deal with the minutiae of volumes of property records – especially at the national level – and the demand for streamlining of conveyancing processes has been long called-for, bringing it in-line with a myriad of other government services, it is something of an indictment that conveyancing in Australia is only just now coming into the digital age...

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