Registration errors, priority rules and the policy behind the PPSA: In pursuit of certainty or fairness?
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The promotion of commercial certainty is perhaps the most significant interpretive policy of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth) (PPSA). To reflect this policy, the PPSA creates a full range of priority rules to address competing security interests in personal property. The dominant feature of the PPSA regime is the Personal Property Securities Register which houses a record of security interests in personal property. Maintaining the integrity of this register is of paramount importance. Commercial certainty is furthered by applying strictly the priority rules to ensure that third parties who rely on the register are protected. To this end, registration errors should not easily be forgiven. This article will illustrate the importance of maintaining the integrity of the register and assess recent case law to reveal that courts are overlooking this in favour of reaching a fair result for a secured party who made a registration error.
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