17 December 2008

Mediating land conflict in East Timor

Daniel Fitzpatrick Reader/Associate Professor, College of Law, Australian National University, Canberra

A mediation model for addressing conflict over land was introduced in 2000 in East Timor by the UN Transitional Administration. The model is now managed by East Timor’s Land and Property Directorate. Despite difficult circumstances and limited resources, mediation by the directorate has been successful in managing a large number of potentially violent disputes.

Land conflict mediation in East Timor is innovative and experience highlights the benefits of:

» using interim no-violence and land-use agreements pending final resolution
» embedding the mediation system in land administration rather than judicial administration, which allows remedies unavailable in the courts, such as selling, leasing, dividing or swapping land
» avoiding problems associated with a lack of capacity in the court system and having greater access to self-funding opportunities than the courts
» creating a bridge between traditional dispute-resolution mechanisms and the courts and allowing use of ritual and customary institutions should the parties agree, and reference to the courts should the parties be unable to agree Read more....This link will take you to another site.

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