29 March 2012

President vetoes three land laws

Source: Lao Hutuk - In February, after two years of delay, Parliament approved three laws regarding access to land, sending them to the President for signature or veto. On 20 March, President Jose Ramos-Horta vetoed the three proposed laws, sending them back to Parliament for revision. He raised many important concerns, including:

Land law:
Lack of consensus in civil society
Too much discretion and power given to the state to claim land
Weak definition of what land can be taken by the state in the "public interest"
Unclear system for compensation of holders of prior rights who don't get titles, including foreigners
Unclear whether the Church can own land
Potential conflict of interest by including the Land and Property Directorate in the Cadastral Commission
Inappropriate cutoff date for prior adverse possession
Unclear definition and protection for community property rights
Expropriations Law:
No definition of the "public interest"
Open to abuse of expropriation powers to serve private interests
Expropriation should only be used in exceptional cases
Unclear if State can lease or sell expropriated land
Real Estate Fund:
Establishes an unnecessary bureaucracy and mechanism with no clear need
Money comes from the State Budget, and so shouldn't get special handling
Possible conflict of interest in Board of Directors including outside persons

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good veto.