13 April 2010

Transitional Land Law web page

La'o Hamutuk has posted a new web page on the transitional Land Law at:  http://www.laohamutuk.org/Agri/land/10TransitionalLandLawEn.htm.

On 10 March 2010 the Council of Ministers approved the transitional Land Law, which is now before Parliament, where Committee A will hold hearings in late May. The draft Land Law aims to resolve current confusion over land ownership. It will decide who does and does not own land, and who has the right to compensation. Such a law could reduce land-based conflict by clearly defining land ownership, but it could also create new problems if people do not understand it or feel they lost their land unfairly. More secure land rights will also bring new challenges: increasing land values, land demand and competition, and borrowing with land as collateral.

The web page includes documents on different drafts of the law, the public consultation process and submissions to government. There is a brief summary of two related draft laws currently before Parliament: a Real Estate Finance Fund law and a Law on Expropriation. This page is in English but links to many documents in Tetum, Portuguese and English.

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