13 June 2009

East Timor Draft Land Law Public Consultations Commence

Press Release Government of Timor-Leste, Ministry of Justice Launch Public Consultation on the Draft Land Law - Dili, 12 June 2009. Today Timor-Leste's Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, and the Minister of Justice, Dra. Lucia Lobato, launched the public consultation on the Draft Law to Establish the Special Regime for Attributing Property Rights (referred to as the Land Law). The goal of today's launch is to consult the Timorese people about the Draft Land Law, and obtain public opinion before the Draft Law is sent to the Council of Ministers and the National Parliament, later this year. During the public consultation, the public and civil society will have the opportunity to comment on the Draft of this key legislation.

The Public Consultation on the Draft Land Law will take place during June, July and August, and will hear opinions and suggestions from Timorese people and civil society in each of the country’s 13 districts. In addition, comments on the Draft can be submitted by email to the National Directorate for Legal Advice and Legislation (DNAJL) at the following address: dnajl@mj.gov.tl. The final date for submitting comments has been set at 31 August 2009. The Draft Law will be available from today in Portuguese and Tetum via the Ministry of Justice website, www.mj.gov.tl .

An English Draft will be available early next week on the Website or can be requested by email from the ‘Ita Nia Rai’ project (see below). In addition, the public consultation includes a summary document in Tetum (other languages forthcoming) that explains the concepts behind the draft law in simple terms.

The Draft Land Law sets out the proposal for establishing a special legal regime that will allow the Government to determine and award first-time property ownership rights to land in Timor-Leste.

The Draft legislation was prepared by a working group composed of lawyers and technical advisors from the National Directorate for Legal Advice and Legislation, the National Directorate for Land, Property and Cadastral Services, and the National Directorate for Registry and Notary Services. The working group took into account consultations with Timorese stakeholders, research on land issues from both Timor-Leste (UNTL) and other countries, and consulted specialists from around the world, including the Portuguese Ministry of Justice and the Australian National University.

Once approved by the public, the Council of Ministers and the National Parliament, the Land Law will be applied systematically, following a transparent process of land claims collection and public display of these claims. This system is designed to protect communities by ensuring that the process is transparent - This data collection process is currently being conducted by the DNTPSC with support from the USAID-funded ‘Ita Nia Rai’ program. To date, the program has already collected over 1,500 claims in 4 district capitals: Aileu, Baucau, Liquica and Manatuto. - Ends -

12 Junu 2009, Konventu Madre Canosiana Becora.

Ohin loron, 12 Junu 2009, Primeiro Ministro Kay Rala ‘Xanana’ Gusmão, ho Ministra da Justiça, Dra. Lúcia Lobato, halao lansamentu konsulta publika ba Esboço projekto de Lei Estabelese Rejime Espesiál hodi Defini Titularidade ba Bens Imoveis (Lei de Terras). Objetivu husi prosesu ne’ebe ohin halao Lansamento atu hala’o konsulta ba povu Timor-Leste kona ba Anteprojektu Lei de Terras nian, hodi hetan opiniaun públiku nian molok lori ba Konsellu Ministru no Parlamentu Nacional atu aprova. Durante tempu konsulta publika ema no sosiedade sivil Timor Leste bele fo ideias kona-ba Esboço projekto Lei ne’ebe refere.

Konsulta públika konabá Esboço projekto Lei Rai Nian sei hala’o iha fulan Junu, Julhu no Agustu, atu rona opiniaun husi populasaun no membros sosiedade sivil iha distritu ida idak. Kualker ema bele mos haruka sujestaun no komentariu ba email dnajl@mj.gov.tl no hare’e dokumentos kona-ba anteprojektu iha website Ministério da Justiça nian: www.mj.gov.tl . Data final atu hatama sujestaun ruma maka 31 de Agusto 2009. Iha website Ministério da Justiça publika esboço projekto ho lian Tetum no Portuges, no mós Matadalan ida, ne’ebe esplika ho lian simples konteudo Lei Rai Nian.

Esboço projekto de Lei Estabelese Rejime Espesiál hodi Defini Titularidade ba Bens Imoveis (Lei de Terras), nia objetivu maka atu estabelese condicões hodi determina primeiros direitos ba propriedade hodi Governu Timor-Leste bele iha futuru fó sai sertifikadus ba rai.

Hahu iha tinan 2007, Governu ho nia parseiros hala’o estudos konabá kestaun rai, ho suporta husi Projetu Ita Nia Rai, ne’ebe hetan ninia orsamentu husi USAID. Governu konsulta espesialista sira husi; Ministeriu da Justisa Portugal, Universidade Nasionál Austrália, jurista sira husi projetu Ita Nia Rai, husi Ministeriu da Justisa Timor-Leste nian no mós teknikos husi Direcção Nacional de Terras, Propriedades e Serviços Cadastrais. Iha fulan Janeiru 2009, Ministra da Justisa estabelese Grupu de Trabalho hodi prepara dokumentu ida ho opsoens politikas hodi rezolve kestaun rai ida-idak. Grupo de Trabalho ne’e envolve husi juristas no teknikos husi Direcção Nacional de Assessoria Jurídica e Legislação, Direcção Nacional de Terras, Propriedades e Serviços Cadastrais, Direcção dos Registos e do Notariado, Gabinete da Ministra da Justiça no Projetu Ita Nia Rai.

Aplikasaun Lei Rai Nian sei hala’o bebeik, fatin ba fatin, tuir prosesu levantamento de dadus kona-ba rai no na’in ba rai. Lei Rai Nian sei la implementa iha áreas ne’ebé proseso foti dadus seidauk hala’o, tamba DNTPSC presiza foti dadus antes bele aplika regras ne’ebé Lei estabelese. To’o agora, DNTPSC, ho apoiu husi Agensia Amerikanu ba Dezenvolvimentu Internasaional (USAID), liu husi programa “Ita Nia Rai”, foti ona deklarasaun rai mais de 1,500 iha kapital distritu haat: Liquica, Manatuto, Aileu ho Baucau. - Remata-

For more information, please contact: Breanna Ridsdel TEL: +670 731 2407 Email: BRidsdel@sprtl.tl Jose Caetano Guterres TEL: +670 730 4325 Email: JCaetano@sprtl.tl

See also: Land Policy in East Timor - The Cart before the Horse

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