Until now, a comprehensive study of national-level expropriation, compensation, and resettlement procedures in 50 countries across has not been conducted. My PhD research project, facilitated by the University of Groningen Faculty of Law, aims to bridge this gap by providing a broad comparative analysis of nation legal frameworks in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America to determine whether legal procedures in these countries adopt internationally recognized standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement.
Despite the fact that land is intrinsically fixed in space, a new transnational market for land is born. Indeed, data from the Land Matrix suggests that in the last 16 years 77.5 million hectares of land – a surface slightly smaller than the entire Mozambique – have been transferred to international investors or are currently under negotiation. More than 140 countries are involved in this international market for land either as investor country, or as target country, or both.
The Rethinking Expropriation Law initiative hosted a Conference on Compensation for Expropriation in Cape Town, South Africa on December 7-9, 2016. The final session of the Conference took place on December 9 and aimed at discussing the development of a protocol on fair compensation.
For the final session in Cape Town, scholars, judges, activists, and government officials from around the world sat together to provide input on what guidance and principles should be included in the protocol on fair compensation.
- Keynote speaker: Professor Hanoch Dagan (Tel-Aviv University):
- Professor Dagan dedicated keynote address to Professor Dr. Van Der Walt, South African professor and renowned property law scholar, who passed away in November 2016
- Professor Dagan's speech discussed the bridges between expropriation law and regulatory takings law.
- A few of the key takeaways from Professor Dagan’s compelling speech:
Today Land Portal is launching a new qualitative dataset and infographic which shows how national laws measure up against the international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established in Section 16 of the UN Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGTs).
On 15th September the International Criminal Court broadened its process for selecting and prioritising cases to include land grabbing and environmental destruction. The decision presents an opportunity to curb the deforestation and rights abuses driven by illegally-issued agricultural concessions in Cambodia, likely to be the court’s first credible case. It also has important implications for other countries suffering from the worst excesses of illegal deforestation. Neil Loughlin and Tom Johnson report.
By Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and the Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre at Sussex
The expansion of sugar production in southern Africa has been dramatic. From its early beginnings in Natal to the huge commercial estates across the region established during the colonial era, new investments are being planned. The land rush in southern Africa is often a sugar rush, with the ‘white gold’ promising riches to governments, local elites and large corporates alike.