This volume contains some 240 of the most important international, regional, and national standards and judicial decisions recognising and addressing the many complexities associated with the housing, land, and property restitution rights of refugees and displaced persons. Many additional laws, cases, and materials on these themes are also in place throughout the world, but the selection found here attempts to provide an accurate and reasonably detailed picture of the current state of affairs with respect to these rights set within their various normative contexts.
The texts included within this book – that can be seen as collectively forming the normative basis for the right of refugees and displaced persons to have restored to them the housing, land, and property rights they held at the time of their displacement – stretch back ten decades to the Hague Conventions of 1907. Throughout the past century, numerous standards have been proposed, discussed, and ultimately approved on restitution, both internationally and at the national level. Over time, these documents have become increasingly specific, in the process refining the precise rights to housing, land, and property restitution enjoyed by those forced by circumstances beyond their control to flee their homes and lands.
In many respects, 2005 was witness to a high point of international standard-setting on these issues, with two vitally important new restitution standards being approved by United Nations (UN) bodies that considerably augment the housing, land, and property restitution rights of refugees and displaced persons.