DDP 733. Brian Trackman, William Fisher, and Luis Salas. "The Reform of Property Registration Systems in Costa Rica: A Status Report." December 1999. 33 pp. Central America Project Series

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Costa Rica is in the midst of a substantial reformation of its real-property registration system. The purpose of this paper is to provide the foundation for an analysis of how that reform process might be accelerated and improved. To that end, the paper describes the current condition of the Costa Rican registry and the changes that have been instituted to date. The Introduction and Section II review the origins and current status of the two primary existing registries – the National Registry (RN) and its subsidiary, the Real Property Registry (RPBI). Section III describes their jurisdiction and structure. Section IV outlines the ways in which they are currently financed. Section V reviews the registries’ principal functions and operations. Sections VI and VII catalogue the respects in which they are currently being reformed. Among the dimensions of change are: integration of the registries with an improved cadastre; improving on-line access to the registry records; and addressing the problems presented by adverse possessors and landless migrants. Section VIII considers the relationship between registry reform and the Costa Rican system of “supplementary title.” Finally, Section IX outlines the ways in which disputes that arise out of the registry process currently are being resolved.

Keywords: Central America; Costa Rica; property; registry

JEL Codes: K11; O13; O54

Brian Trackman is a graduate of Amherst College, and a student at the Harvard Law School.

William Fisher is currently Professor of Law, Director of the Harvard Program on Legal History, and Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

Luis Salas is an expert on Latin American justice systems. He is now a full professor in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Florida International University (FIU).