08 October 2010

New LH web page on the draft Civil Code

La'o Hamutuk has launched a new web page which includes copies of the draft Civil Code, submissions and other resources in English and Tetum. 
   Last week Parliamentary Committee A received submissions on the draft Civil Code. The Civil Code is the basis of civil law in Timor-Leste and will affect Timorese people from birth to death. It outlines rules on marriage, adoption, paternity, alimony, divorce and inheritance. It also creates rules on tenant and landlord rights, leases, the legal terms of occupation (similar to squatter's rights), mortgages and water rights. The draft law is over 500 pages and a "copy and paste" from the Portuguese Civil Code with little adaptation to local practice and custom.
   The draft Civil Code is the first of a new packet of draft laws on property rights that Committee A will review. (Earlier plans to examine the draft Land Law were put on hold until after the Civil Code.) La'o Hamutuk's submission raised concerns that the draft Civil Code threatens vulnerable people's land, housing and water rights. We urged Parliament not to enact new laws on property rights until government has held a National Land Consultation.
   We welcome further documents and analysis from all sources.

No comments:

Post a Comment