Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 12, 2017 (SKNIS):  A Bill shortly entitled Title by Registration Amendment Bill, 2017 was read a third time and passed into law during Tuesday’s (July 11) Sitting of Parliament, and is a “consequential amendment” made to the Title by Registration Act Cap. 10.19, the principle Act in light of the Land Registry Act, which was also passed on the above mentioned date.

“This new system would be more efficient and this would benefit the federation in a number of ways …by promoting the ease of doing business,” said the Honourable Vincent Byron Jr., Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, who first introduced and read the Bill at the June 13 Sitting of National Assembly. In yesterday’s (July 11) Sitting, he noted that the Bill would provide mainly for a number of matters.

“The amendment to the Act in Clause three would empower the Registrar of Lands to act with respect to certain minor matters without the need to secure the approval of the Honourable Chief Justice. Once the amendment takes effect the section would read as follows: the current volumes for each circuit shall be bound annually or at such times as the Registrar of Titles may determine and shall be carefully preserved,” said Minister Byron. … “Clause four of the Bill Mr. Speaker would amend Section 136 of the Act. The current law provides for the Registrar of the High Court to be the Registrar of Titles. The amendment would provide for the Registrar of Lands to be the Registrar of Titles. It is anticipated that once the Land Registry is properly established that the Registrar for Lands would have responsibility for all land matters in the federation.

“It was felt that the Registrar would be a senior lawyer with responsibility and will hold the necessary competency to independently determine and manage the business of the annual binding and preservation of volumes for each circuit – that is the volumes of land, titles and documents,” added the Honourable Byron. “This new system would be more efficient and this would benefit the federation in a number of ways …by promoting the ease of doing business.”

Section 160 of the Act was also amended in clause five of the Bill, giving the minister of justice, instead of the Governor General, the responsibility for the provision of proper offices for the Registrar of Titles for the preservation of the registers. Section 169 of the Act was also amended in Clause 6 of the Bill to reflect the proposed new arrangement with the Registrar of Lands, having responsibility of the Registry of Titles. Clause seven as well, was also amended.

Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory supported the Bill.

“The intent is to bring in line with the new piece of legislation [Land Registry Bill], which was passed earlier today, the whole process of land registration responsible for managing the matter of ensuring that there is proper custody and recording of the lands and titles, so that there is that improvement in the manner in which we do business in terms of land transactions, whether it is original issues of titles or transfers or subdivisions because those things are of serious importance to the ongoing development of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Minister Amory. “It is important …to establish a new department to deal specifically with lands. I think this government Mr. Speaker, has undertaken that mandate to ensure that we improve the efficiency in the way which government does business across the board in St. Kitts and Nevis.”