Professor Roger SmithBack to People

Department: Law
College appointment: Emeritus Fellow


I was educated at a grammar school in the Midlands and then studied at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. Before my election as law tutor at Magdalen in 1974, I taught law at Birmingham University and subsequently at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. I was elected Emeritus Professor at Magdalen in 2018.


My research has concentrated on Land Law in recent years, with a particular emphasis on registration of land interests. The major significance of land interests is that they bind later purchasers of the land. As no purchaser wants to be affected by unknown leases, rights of way or other claims, it is important that they can readily be discovered. It is largely for this reason that most land interests have to be registered. On the other hand, if a person has not registered an interest in their home, we do not always want to evict them. Much of my work is on this tension between the needs of purchasers and the legitimate demands of those who have not registered their interests.


  • Chapter 9 in New Perspectives on Land Registration (ed Goymour, Watterson and Dixon), 2018 (Hart)
  • Property Law, 10th edition 2020 (Pearson)
  • Property Law: Cases and Materials, 6th edition 2015 (Pearson)
  • Introduction to Land Law, 3rd edition 2013 (Pearson)