Objectives and working methods of the Round Table on Security Rights over Immovable Property

The Round Table on Security Rights over Immovable Property aims to make a scholarly contribution to comparative examination of the areas of law which are significant for the use and value of security rights over immovable property.

Since 2005, the Round Table has met twice a year for 2-day workshops, conducted primarily through the medium of German, at the vdp in Berlin. The results of this work can be found in the Database vdpmortgage. The database contains information about 37 countries which is useful when examining immovable security rights.

The comparison is functional, i.e. focused on the practical implications of the legal situation in each legal system. For this purpose, a catalogue of multiple-choice questions is used. The members of the Round Table develop the questions and answers for each area of law and ensure that there is a suitable answer for each system. A key challenge in this process is keeping the number of answers for each question as low as possible but nonetheless wide-ranging enough to allow an appropriate answer for each question. Striking this balance correctly ensures that the overall picture is readily comprehensible without sacrificing accuracy. In addition to addressing the legal position dictated by statutes, regulations and case law, further questions address the range of contractual constructions which the law permits or facilitates.

Each question is accompanied by an explanation setting out its background and underlying intention. Members of the Round Table can also add comments, explaining their choice of answer or identifying particular details of the approach in a given system that cannot be expressed in the concise form of the multiple-choice answers. These explanations and comments are visible to all users of the database.

In principle, each legal system is represented by a member of the Round Table. These members are legal scholars, lawyers, notaries and others. In many cases, they are among the leading jurists in the law of immovable property and security. They work independently and voluntarily on their answers to the question receiving only expenses for outlays. Members have permanent access to the database and update the information regarding their legal system out with the workshops.

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