Fraud and Forgery in the 1990s: Can our Adherence to Fraser v Walker Survive the Strain?
The question of indefeasibility of title - should it be immediate or should it be deferred? - has, for many years, but significantly not for the last 15 - been a hotly debated topic among academics of property law in New Zealand. Under the principle of deferred indefeasibility a title obtained fraudulently can be defeated until it is "perfected" by a subsequent bona fide transfer for value. In contrast, the immediate indefeasibility theory provides that registration will immediately validate a transfer, even if it is forged or otherwise void or voidable. This latter theory was confirmed in the landmark decision of Frazer v Walkel3 in 1967. Many subsequent critical appraisals explored the consequences of the judgment. However, little academic writing on the topic is apparent in any of the New Zealand periodicals from the mid-1970s. Does this imply that the principle of immediate indefeasibility is "set in stone" in this country?