05 November 2008

Timor-Leste hopes to pass a Transitional Land Law in the near future


30 October 2008


Timor-Leste hopes to pass a Transitional Land Law in the near future

Today in Dili the Minister of Justice, Lucia Lobato, announced at a public meeting that the Government is considering a policy framework that will become the basis for Timor-Leste's long awaited land law.

The Policy Framework for a Transitional Land Law was prepared by a legal team from the USAID-funded "Ita Nia Rai" ("Our Land") program in consultation with representatives of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the National Directorate for Land, Property & Cadastral Services (DNTPSC) and other Timorese stakeholders. It also draws upon extensive research that has been conducted in Timor-Leste since 2000 by organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and academic institutions such as the Australian National University, as well as on best practices from other countries. "We use the word 'transitional' because this law is designed to determine first-time land ownership in independent Timor-Leste," commented the program's senior legal advisor Nigel Thomson. He clarified that if the legislation is passed as proposed, future land transactions will be regulated by a separate law.

"The Transitional Land Law will be a critical legal framework for Timor-Leste in many ways. Most importantly, it will provide more secure land tenure for the most disadvantaged group in the country; the poor." Commented Mr. Thomson.

Minister Lobato announced that the Government intends to open the policy for discussion in the near future. "This is a critical policy for Timor-Leste, because the majority of our people have only one source of livelihood: their land," she commented. Minister Lobato added that "the Government hopes that clarifying land rights and providing a framework for solving land disputes will increase stability in communities and help to prevent future conflict about land." She also added that formalizing property rights will contribute to economic development by providing a sounder environment for private sector investment.

The Transitional Land Law will set out the criteria to resolve conflicting land claims and issue Timor-Leste's first land titles. A stand-alone Land and Property Commission, an independent administrative body, is one instutitonal option for administering the land law "This mechanism could allow people who don't normally have access to the justice system to receive equal consideration in case of dispute," commented Mr. Thomson.

Despite these provisions, the five-year, $10 million support program believes that land disputes will be in the minority of overall land claims, and hopes that most disputes can be solved at a local level, using a combined approach based in traditional dispute resolution practices and formal mediation.

Working with the DNTPSC, the USAID-funded Ita Nia Rai progam will start collecting land claims in two pilot areas of Timor-Leste in just a few weeks time. "We know that a great deal of land in Timor-Leste is used or owned communally, by families or groups of people," commented Grant Cullen, the program's senior land administration specialist. "Our claims framework allows an unlimited number of people to make a joint ownership claim, as well as allowing for individual and organizational claims," he said. All claims will be open to scrutiny by the local community, and the final results will be entered into a national database that will be used by the Government to issue land titles once the law has been approved by Parliament.

The Ita Nia Rai ('Our Land') program is a five-year project funded by The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by ARD Inc., ACDI/VOCA, and Land Equity International, organizations with worldwide experience in developing land systems in post-conflict countries and in conflict prevention for community stabilization. Working with the DNTPSC and the Ministry of Justice, the program provides technical and policy support to develop a sustainable and transparent property rights system in Timor-Leste. Ends
Komunikado iha :
30 Outobro 2008

30 Outobro 2008, Memorial Hall , Dili, Timor-Leste.

Ohin loron, Ministra da Justiça Dra Lucia Lobato, iha enkontru publiku iha Farol, Dili, anunsio katak Governu simu ona ezbosu politika ba Lei Transisional kona-ba Rai. Ezbosu politika ne'e halo baseia iha peskisa no konsultasaun barak ne'ebe hala'o tiha ona iha Timor-Leste, hahu tinan 2000. Politika ne'e sei uza nudar baze atu halo Lei Transisional kona-ba Rai.

"Lei ne'e hanaran 'transisional' tanba Lei ida ne'e sei foti desizaun deit kona-ba se maka iha direitu atu sai nudar na'in ba rai, tuir sistema foun Timor-Leste nian" temi Sr. Ibere Lopes, asesor Legal ho programa USAID Ita Nia Rai. "Aban bainrua, transaksaun hotu-hotu kona-ba rai, inklui heransa, fa'an, sosa no aluga rai, sei regula tuir lejizlasaun seluk", nia hatutan.

Ministra da Justiça anuncio mós katak la kleur Governu sei hahu diskusaun no konsulta publika kona-ba Politika ne'ebe prepara tiha ona. Lian hirak ne'e husi Ministra Lobato: "Iha Timor-Leste maioria uma kain sira nia riku soin ida de'it: mak Rai. Tan ne'e, bainhira Governu rekoñese ema nia direitu ba propriedade, familia sira iha konfiansa para investe iha ninia rai." Tuir programa Ita Nia Rai, ida ne'e atu aumenta ema ki'ak nia riku soin no kontribui ba dezenvolvimentu ekonomiku no redusaun pobreza. Ministra hatutan liu tan katak: "Mane, feto no familia hotu-hotu iha Timor sei hetan benefisiu bainhira ita hametin no haklaru ita nia direitus ba propriedade hodi rezolve haksesuk ne'ebe iha no prevene hadau malu kona-ba rai iha futuru."

Iha parte seluk, Sr. Antonio Verdial de Sousa, Direitor Direçcão Nacional Terras, Propriedades e Serviços Cadastrais (DNTPSC), fo hanoin ba partisipante sira katak prosesu nasional Foti Dadus kona-ba Rai sei hahu iha tempu badak iha Distritu Liquica, no Manatuto hodi kria baze ba dadus nasionál kona-ba rai no propriedade iha Timor-Leste. Hato'o ba ema hotu – hotu husi Distritu Liquica suco Dato aldeia Leopa no Distritu Manatutu Suco Aiteas, Ma'abat, Ailili no suco sau ne'ebe hela iha Dili katak labele lakon oportunidade ida ne'e no labele haluha data ne,ebe fo sai tiha ona iha leten

Prosesu foti dadus nudar paso fundamental ida hodi organiza informasaun ne'ebe kompletu konaba rai no na'in ba rai iha Timor-Leste. Iha okasaun ne'e Sr. Antonio Verdial de Sousa hateten katak "prosesu ne'e sei fó oportunidade ba membrus komunidade atu rekorda sira nia deklarasaun nu'udar nain ba rai. Ne'e hanesan prosesu ida kria mapa husi komunidade ne'ebe komunidade rasik marka sira nia hanoin kona-ba se mak iha direitu ba rai." Nia aumenta: "Prosesu ne'e fo oportunidade igual ba mane, feto, ema boot ka ema kiik atu halo deklarasaun ida nudar na'in ba rai."

Prosesu daudaun ne'e la fó sertifikadu ida ba ema, maibe iha tempu naruk, Governu bele uza dadus ne'ebe iha hodi dezenvolve sistema sertifikasaun rai ba ema iha futuru." Sr. Verdial hatutan tan.

Projetu Ita-Nia Rai ne'e ho durasaun tinan lima ne'ebé hetan fundus husi Governu Amerikano liu hosi USAID hodi tulun Governu Timor Leste atu asegura direitu ba rai no propriedade iha nasaun ne'e. Liu husi servisu hamutuk ho DNTPSC no Ministerio da Justiça, programa ida ne'e atu fó asistensia téknika no suporta regulamentu ba dezenvolvimento sustentavel no transparante ba sistema direitu ba propridade iha Timor-Leste.

- Ends

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