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5 - Restitution Mechanisms and Institutional Frameworks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 May 2011

Scott Leckie
Affiliation:
Displacement Solutions, Geneva
Chris Huggins
Affiliation:
Land Conflict Research, Ottawa
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Summary

Many countries have engaged in processes designed to restore land, housing, and property to displaced persons, refugees, and others who were arbitrarily deprived of their homes, lands, and properties because of conflict. Other countries have dealt effectively with sometimes large-scale restitution claims procedures and have concluded – often very successfully – a comprehensive restitution process. Still others are presently considering proposals designed to allow restitution processes to proceed. Restitution processes are often complex, time-consuming exercises that address inherently controversial and politically charged issues. Care must be taken to manage the expectations of potential claimants and ensure that the restitution process is transparent and clear. The temporal and spatial boundaries of the restitution process, for example, must be clarified, justified, and explained to the population. There is no single blueprint for success, and each country must identify its own way forward while learning from international precedents and respecting national and international laws. However, if the State (generally in conjunction with international organizations) can provide the necessary combination of impartiality, political commitment, and financial support, the pay-offs can be very significant. The legitimacy of the State in the eyes of its citizens, as well as the international community, can be much enhanced, while the resolution of potentially explosive grievances over HLP rights contributes to a more stable and peaceful political and economic legacy.

Type
Chapter
Information
Conflict and Housing, Land and Property Rights
A Handbook on Issues, Frameworks and Solutions
, pp. 155 - 180
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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References

,Amnesty International (1996) Report: Rwanda and Burundi, the Return Home: Rumours and Realities, London: Amnesty International.Google Scholar
Bruce, John (2007) Drawing a Line under the Crisis: Reconciling Returnee Land Access and Security in Post-Conflict Rwanda, Humanitarian Practice Network Working Paper, June 2007.
Budlender, G. (2000) “Restitution for Housing and Property Rights: Some Lessons from the South-African ExperienceRefugee Survey Quarterly 19, no. 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Jones, Lisa (2003) “Giving and Taking Away: The Difference between Theory and Practice Regarding Property in Rwanda” in Leckie, Scott (ed.), Returning Home: Housing and Property Restitution Rights of Refugees and Displaced Person, New York: Transnational Publishers.Google Scholar
Nucci, Domenico (2004) “Study on Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation of Land and Property Disputes,” Land and Property Study in Sudan, Project OSRO/SUD/409/HCR.
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,Permanent Court of Arbitration (2006) Redressing Injustices Through Mass Claims Processes, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
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