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Land Registry Act Now In Force
Justice and Legal
The Land Registry Act No. 10 of 2017 has now come into force as of the 9th August 2021. This follows the passage of the Land Registry (Validation) Act No. 16 of 2021 in the National Assembly on 5th August 2021. The Attorney General Hon Vincent Byron successfully piloted the bill through Parliament and on 6th August it was assented to by His Excellency the Governor General Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton.
The Land Registry (Validation) Act effectively established the date of coming into force of the Land Registry Act as the 9th of August 2021 and further validates or confers lawful authority in relation to all actions taken or done by the Government from 13th November 2017 in relation to its enactment prior to the coming into force of the Act.
The Attorney General took the time to enumerate the several steps that have been taken since the passage of the initial legislation in 2017. These include:
- the appointment of a Registrar of Lands in the person of Mrs. Dawn Myers
- the establishment of a Land Registry Committee
- progressive steps towards physical separation of the Land Registry from the premises and operations of the Supreme Court
- the migration of staff and related services on St. Kitts to the top floor of the building which also houses the Electoral Office
- the advancement of steps to establish the Land Administration Information System and a cadastral mapping system; both to be integrated
- the crafting of technical capacity to facilitate online searches
The passage of Act No. 16 of 2021 is also quite timely as the Head Office of the Land Registry Department is set to move to its newly available premises in the C&C Building of George Street in Basseterre in early September 2021. The Branch Office on Nevis is also set to take up residence in the Solomon Arcade in Charlestown, Nevis in September as well. This greatly advances efforts to fully separate the services of the dedicated Land Registry from the Supreme Court. This has been one of the aspirational goals of the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs to promote speedier processing of all legal dealings pertaining to lands and ultimately lead to improvements in the ease of doing business in the Federation.