14 January 2011

Invitation to public discussion on Land Laws 19 January

Land is a very complicated and sensitive issue in Timor-Leste.  Many people, including grassroots people, the State and internationals, are concerned that land disputes can create community conflicts and also create difficulties for  development.

The Timor-Leste Ministry of Justice has drafted laws to regulate who can own land. The Justice Minister held public consultations in all 13 districts in 2009, and on 10 March 2010 the Council of Ministers approved three laws: the Land Law, the Expropriation Law, and the Compensation Fund. The laws are currently before Committee A of the National Parliament, which will hold public hearings early in 2011. From the view of civil society, university students, and communities, these laws are not based on the principles and values of Timorese life. Click here for more information about land in Timor-Leste.

La’o Hamutuk is organizing a Public Discussion on the theme “Implications of the Land Laws for People’s Rights to Access Land” with speakers:
•    Bernardo de Almeida, Legal Advisor on the Ministry of Justice
•    Representative from UNMIT
•    Eusebio Guterres, Legal Advisor in the organization LAIFET
•    Demetrio Amaral, researcher on traditional land systems from the Haburas Foundation

Wednesday, 19 January 2011   9:00 am to 5:00 pm
HAK Association meeting hall in Farol
(across from the Brazilian Embassy)

08:30-09:00    Registration
09:00-09:15    Introduction
09:15-09:35    Bernardo de Almeida: How Land Laws can guarantee people’s right to land
09:35-09:55    Representative from UNMIT: International standards to protect people’s rights to land and housing
09:55-10:15    Eusebio Guterres: The impact of the land laws on people’s right to land
10:15-10:35    Demetrio de Amaral: Traditional Land Systems
10:35-10:50    Snack
10:50-12:30    Questions and Answers
12:30-13:30    Lunch
13:30-14:30    Group Discussions
14:30-16:30    Presentations to Plenary
16:30-17:00    Closing and snack

This event will be primarily in Tetum. Thank you for your participation and cooperation.

Ines Martins N. Soares
Researcher, La’o Hamutuk
+670 725 8724

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