|Book||Australian Real Property Law 5th Edition||21/04/2011||9780455227894||$158.00|
The fifth edition of this work remains a succinct, comprehensible and comprehensive statement of Australian real property law. Its basic structure covers the nature of real property, obtaining title to land, land dealings, management and divided ownership and neighbour relations. For this edition, the chapters have been reordered and restructured – possession has considered as part of title to land; public lands have been combined with land rights of indigenous persons; mortgages have been brought within land title; and co-ownership dealt within one chapter. Strata and community title (which can be used for all forms of land use) has been taken from housing to the management chapter, and housing extended to include residential parks and rooming houses.
Since the last edition, decisions of Australian courts have considered issues as diverse as priorities of unregistered interests, the loss of easements by abandonment and the scope of settled land powers. A number of national or uniform laws have been enacted for many of the areas at the fringes of real property law. The Australian Consumer Law and national control of consumer credit have increased the court’s capacity regarding the regulation of mortgages and to set aside transactions viewed as unfair. There are also uniform laws relating to personal property securities; family property rights for all personal relationships; and even a national water system is promised.
Australian Real Property Law, 5th Edition has changed significantly throughout, and remains an essential reference text for students and practitioners alike.
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From: (2011) 85 ALJ 773
Reviewed by: Mr Justice P W Young
The first edition was reviewed by David Maclean (see “Book reviews” (1991) 65 ALJ 363). It is time
to re-examine the work, now in its fifth edition.
The book is prepared by academic lawyers currently at the universities of Adelaide, Melbourne,
Flinders and Wollongong and, as one would expect, it is a bit light on the practical side of land law, but a bit too voluble on subjects dear to academic lawyers, such as native title and the social effect of land holdings. The contrast to a book produced by a practising barrister or solicitor is marked.
Nonetheless, it is a valuable “encyclopaedia” type book that would serve law students well and would also serve as an initial reference to practitioners.
Traditionally, the study of real property law in New South Wales was split into five sections,
general principles, future interests, Torrens system, leases and mortgages, and easements and
covenants. All these matters are considered in this book, but its 19 chapters also include 50 pages on
adverse possession, 50 pages on native title, 100 pages on co-ownership and 30 pages on housing for the impoverished. Doubtless, the mix caters for the curriculum at various law schools.
The book covers the eight Australian jurisdictions. This obviously adds to its bulk. The authors
bemoan the fact that whilst so much of Australian law is now encompassed in common legislation,
real property law is not.
I have called this an encyclopaedic work. That is because, of necessity, it cannot, in one volume
possibly deal with all the detailed problems that arise with real property. The authors have adopted the sensible course of giving the outline and references to other works where more details may be found. Thus, in the chapter on mortgages, propositions are stated, but readers are then referred, mainly to the fifth edition of Sykes and Walker, The Law of Securities.
The production of this book is a worthwhile exercise both for the benefit of law students and the
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Concept of Real Property Law
PART 2. TITLE TO LAND
Chapter 2. Foundational Concepts: Tenure, Possession, Estates, Trusts and General Law Priorities
Chapter 3. Adverse Possession
Chapter 4. The Torrens System and Indefeasibility
Chapter 5. Torrens Priorities
Chapter 6. Public Lands and Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Chapter 7. Mortgages
PART 3. DEALINGS IN LAND
Chapter 8. Dispositions
Chapter 9. Defeasible Transactions
PART 4. DIVIDED OWNERSHIP OF LAND
Chapter 10. Future Interests
Chapter 11. The Rule Against Perpetuities
Chapter 12. Co-ownership
Chapter 13. Management Where Ownership is Divided
Chapter 14. Landlord and Tenant Law
Chapter 15. Housing
PART 5. RELATIONS BETWEEN NEIGHBOURING LANDHOLDERS
Chapter 16. The Scope and Meaning of Real Property
Chapter 17. Easements, Profits and Rentcharges
Chapter 18. Freehold Covenants