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Preface It is, one supposes, inevitable that, in its adoption by other jurisdictions. both within and without the British Commonwealth, and in its adaptation, not only to the differing needs of each adopting jurisdiction, but also to the requirements of a changing social order, the essential simplicity of the system of registration of title known as the Torrens system, as first introduced into South Australia by Sir Robert Torrens in 1857, has become somewhat obscured.
Despite this, the basic simplicity of the system has survived, in all of the Australasian adaptations and developments of the original Torrens scheme which are within the purview of this work, to a degree which warrants the continuing admiration of lawyers and laymen alike for a system of registration of title which permits such a survival.
But as with liberty, so with certainty of title to land, the price is eternal vigilance, lest with adaptation and development, and in particular with the superimposition of State claims and charges, simplicity becomes totally obscured, and the fundamental principle of indefeasibility of title be lost.
This vigilance is demanded ultimately of legislators, but as in a complex modern society the legislators are necessarily influenced by their advisers, the more immediate guardianship of the Torrens system must rest with the officers who administer the enactments, with the judiciary who interpret them, and with the convevancers who deal with transactions under the system, for it is they who should first become aware of existing or potential dangers to this fundamental principle.
E.A. Francis Port Moresby March 1972