Rule of law and land rights

Author: Olga Hancock & Richard Dyton, Simmons & Simmons LLP (UK), Published on: 15 February 2016

Land tenure is a particularly pertinent example of the Rule of Law being an essential pre-condition to other development priorities…However 1.25 billion people do not have access to secure land tenure, largely in the poorest countries, which do not have the infrastructure to provide title to land.  This means that when other stakeholders seek access to their land, these people are left powerless.  Recently pro bono lawyers have developed an international practice representing the rights of vulnerable communities in developing countries whose lands are coming under pressure from large commercial interests and are the subject of "land grabs". Where there is a void in the domestic law in providing legal rights in particular jurisdictions, there is a role for lawyers to step in and apply principles of international law to assist local communities in obtaining access to justice…

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