Status of the Land Registrar in each country

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What is the status of the Land Registrar in your country:

a) Who is responsible for performing the act of registration of property rights?

Assistant judges carry out their duties in registration departments of county courts.
The institution of assistant judge was created by example of Rechtspfleger (in German: one which applies the law).

b) In case of doubt/appeal, who decides?

Assistant judges are competent to make entries in a register and enter rulings concerning the maintenance of a register. Assistant judge is independent and has a right to decide in registry
matters. The position of assistant judge is held as responsible and demanding the independence,  as the position of judge. An assistant judge shall refer the making of a ruling or entry to a judge if he or she wishes to derogate from the position of the judge, which is known to him or her or if legal complications become evident upon the review of a petition. A judge may refer the  making of a ruling or entry back to an assistant judge. In such case the assistant judge is bound by the position of the judge.

If an appealed ruling of a county court was made by an assistant judge, the assistant judge may adjudicate the appeal against the ruling. If the assistant judge does not satisfy the appeal against the ruling in full within five days after the date on which such appeal was filed, the assistant judge refers the appeal immediately for adjudication to a judge of the competent county court.

Assistant judge has a legal backround and education.

c) Must he/she have a legal educational background?

Yes, assistant judge has acquired in the field of law at least an officially certified Master’s degree or a corresponding foreign qualification. The same education requirements are applied to assistant judges and judges.

d) Could you characterize the act of registration as a purely administrative duty or a quasi-judicial one?

Though giving justice administration powers to the assistant judges is not unanimously clear in legal circles from the position of Estonian Constitution but the Constitution does not prohibit
giving some kinds of non-litigious proceedings to the assistant judges to resolve. Article 146 of Constitution could be interpreted so, that no one but court has the right to administer law, but this does not limit court´s tasks to the justice administration alone.

This means that court may have other obligations which are closely related to justice administration and need court´s authority, independence, control and reliability. One such field is court registers which from their nature need to be situated in court system.

e) Is the Land Registrar independent in his/her decision making? If yes, how does your legal system assures such functional independence (i.e. the decisions are only challenged before a court).

Assistant judge is independent in performance of his or her duties, but shall comply with the instructions of a judge to the extent prescribed by law.

The independence of assistant judge are assured by the social guarantees (the benefits to the public servants and salary) and requirements to the profession (education, special training, high moral values and proficiency of the language.

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