Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
08-12: Eminent Domain and Compulsory Land Takings
Wednesday, 22/Mar/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Jonathan Lindsay, World Bank, United States of America
Location: MC 9-100

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Compulsory Purchase Powers - Essential For Emerging Economies

Tony Mulhall, James Kavanagh

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, United Kingdom

Many emerging economies have had a history of state confiscation of private land along with state ownership and management of this land. This experience has framed the views of many post communist governments. Having moved from command economies to market economies where the right to private property is enshrined as a key signifier of new freedoms there has been a reluctance to transfer back to the state the power to compulsorily acquire (eminent domain) private property even in the public interest. Experience with delegations from the land administration departments of emerging economies confirms the reluctance to introduce compulsory acquisition powers because of their association with previous totalitarian regimes. This reluctance to introduce compulsory acquisition powers is now acting against the public interest in key infrastructure provision particularly in relation to networked services. 1. This paper argues that failure to introduce compulsory acquisition powers will delay the provision of essential services for millions of people. 2. It argues for compensation reflecting existing market values rather than some form of state attributed value as a way of ensuring equitable treatment of owners. 3. It specifies particular skills and behaviours among professionals handling such acquisition to re-assure those whose land is being acquired.


Eminent Domain in Finland

Markku Markkula

National Land Survey of Finland, Finland

Professor Kauko Viitanen, Aalto University

Deputy Director-General Markku Markkula, NLS

Expropriation (compulsory purchase or acquisition in UK or eminent domain or condemnation in the U.S.A.) is not the primary method for land acquisition, but presumes that the land acquisition has been impossible to achieve in any other way. For example, it is stated in the Finnish Act on Expropriation that expropriation must not be enforced if the purpose of the expropriation can be achieved in some other way.

According to Finnish law the cadastral surveyor has in certain cases the same mandate as a district court to solve disputes. Appeal against the decisions given by a cadastral surveyor can be made to the land Court and from LC to the Supreme Court. The cadastral surveyor has this statutory mandate.

The Finnish expropriation system, which is carried out by a cadastral surveyor, is a very flexible and agile way of putting big infrastructure projects into effect. The District court or Land Court need not give verdict regarding compensations if no appeal is made. The interests of both parties are taken into ac-count by the cadastral surveyor who has to be an impartial person leading the procedure.


Displacement politics and post-aid urban development: Resettlements, donors and infrastructure development in Beira city, Mozambique

Murtah Read1,2, Annelies Zoomers1,2, Kei Otsuki1,2, Mayke Kaag2,3

1Utrecht University; 2LANDac; 3African Studies Center Leiden

Balancing the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ targets of urban development will pose significant challenges to struggling municipalities marred by infrastructure deficits, as land based investments have regularly lead to displacement and loss of livelihoods. For municipalities such as Beira in Mozambique however, which have succeeded in attracting substantial investments from abroad, it is a balancing act which is closely related to the priorities of the various supporting donors and IFI’s. It is against this background that this paper will discuss three recent cases of development induced resettlement in Beira, each associated with a different donor, resettlement strategy and development outcome. In doing so the paper will put forth the argument that resettlements are highly contingent upon the interests associated with them. Furthermore it will argue that such a contingency, occurring within the shared administrative framework and close proximity of the same city, serves to perpetuate the arbitrariness of municipal-resident relations, thus ultimately undermining inclusive urbanization. As an increasing amount of resources and interests are mobilized around urban land throughout the world, these findings point to the need for greater understanding of displacement politics if the ambitions of the NUA and SDGs are to be realized. .


Land For Infrastructure Development: Compulsory Acquisition And Compensation Of Undocumented /Unregistered Land In Kenya

Agatha Wanyonyi, Monica Obongo, Peter Mburu, Jane Ndiba

Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, Kenya

Kenya’s Vision 2030 aims at transforming the country into a newly industrialized middle income country and infrastructural development is high on the agenda to achieve this. Since most land already has interests the use of eminent domain by government is inevitable. However most of the land earmarked for compulsory acquisition comprises of un- registered land whose interests are not formally documented. Kenya has progressive statutes that provide for compensation of land that is compulsorily acquired even where the owners/ occupants do not hold legal titles. The paper explores how the government while implementing infrastructural projects using compulsory acquisition was able to identify genuine land owners, value the land and implement fair and just compensation. It looks at how grievances were resolved using alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. It also explores the benefits negotiated for the affected communities and safeguards being explored to guide future compensations.


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