09 July 2017

East Timor Parliamentary committee approves in the special law Timorese land and property law


31 Jan 2017 09:10 Lusa

Committee A of the Timorese National Parliament has approved in the specialty the bill of the "special regime on the ownership of immovable property," an essential diploma for Timor-Leste that has been 'stuck' for several years.

The committee's approval - which will now have to be approved in the final and global plenary vote, yet to be scheduled - was completed during a retreat that brought committee members together in a hotel on the outskirts of Dili.

Several elements of the bill had sparked some controversy among parliamentary representation forces, especially around aspects such as ownership of secondary rights to land and property.

In particular the benches were divided in the appraisal of article 38 of the proposal that assigns the property right to the declarant of the previous secondary right title, if it is "in the current and peaceful possession of the property declared."

The impasse was eventually solved and other differences between the four parliamentary seats were also "remedied," parliamentary sources told Lusa, allowing agreement on a law considered essential to the country.

Timor-Leste has already made several attempts to pass a land and property law, a complicated process given the complex nature of the impact of the various systems in the country: customary and traditional law, Portuguese colonial administration, Indonesian occupation, transitional UN administration And the post-independence period.

A first decree was vetoed in March 2012 by the then President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, who alleged a lack of consensus among civil society regarding some of the envisaged solutions.

In mid-2016 the current diploma was passed in plenary in general and the debate in the specialty has been accelerated in recent weeks to be able to approve the diploma before the end of the legislature - legislative elections are planned for July.

Property rights recognise rights previously acquired validly "during previous administrations," as well as creating "informal property rights, with a view to redressing the injustices committed before Timor-Leste's independence, due to the lack of formalisation of rights."

Access to land is guaranteed in two ways: on the one hand, through the creation of the National Land Registry, "allowing for the emergence of a secure and transparent real estate market" and, on the other hand, clarifying "the property belonging to the domain of the State, enabling it to achieve a better management of its assets ".

The law also recognises community ownership and creates the picture of community protection zones.

The diploma that now goes to the final and global vote is part of a package of three diplomas approved in June last year and which begin the process of legislation on land and property in Timor-Leste, one of the most important aspects for the country's development.

Also part of the package is the Law on the Basis of Spatial Planning, which the Government approved in April 2016, which provides for "the existence of two major types of territorial planning instruments: those of national scope and those of municipal scope."

The third law is the law on "expropriation for public utility" which "defines the regime applicable to the expropriation of immovable property and establishes rules and procedures for cases in which the State, for the purpose of pursuing a public purpose purpose, Is driven by the absence of other viable alternative solutions, to call itself the ownership of real property that was in the sphere of the private domain. ASP // ISG Lusa / The End http://24.sapo.pt/noticias/internacional/artigo/comissao-parlamentar-aprova-na-especialidade-lei-de-terras-e-propriedades-timorense_21866646.html

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