Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-56f9d74cfd-rbfsf Total loading time: 0.255 Render date: 2022-06-27T19:19:22.989Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Creating Law from the Ground Up: Land Law in Post-Conflict Cambodia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2014

Leah M. Trzcinski
Affiliation:
J.D., New York University School of Law
Frank K. Upham
Affiliation:
Wilf Family Professor of Property Law, New York University School of Law

Abstract

Since 1990, successive waves of foreign experts have introduced legal transplants into Cambodia dealing with the possession, use, and ownership of land. The Land Law of 2001, sponsored by the World Bank, first created a registration system that made land ownership dependent exclusively on a central cadastral registry. The 2007 Civil Code, sponsored by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, subsequently cast doubt on the exclusivity of the registry by declaring it only presumptive evidence of ownership. Both laws are based on foreign models that presume economic, technical, and professional resources that Cambodia, as a very poor, post-conflict country, lacks. Despite recent efforts to reconcile the laws, implementation remains uneven and legal ambiguity persists. While it is too early to make conclusive judgments, the Cambodian experience brings into question not only the wisdom of top-down foreign intervention but also the desirability of any form of centralized formal legal construction in a society without the necessary social, political, and institutional prerequisites.

Type
Comparative and Empirical Approaches of Socio–Legal Research on Asia
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and KoGuan Law School, Shanghai Jiao Tong University 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

1

Leah Trzcinski, J.D., 2013, New York University School of Law, M.I.A., 2010, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, B.B.A., 2004, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Frank Upham, Wilf Family Professor of Property Law, New York University School of Law. The authors thank the participants in the Workshop on Legal Order, the State, and Economic Development held in Florence, Italy, 30 September to 1 October 2011, and the many individuals in Cambodia and Japan who assisted in the preparation of this paper. We extend special thanks to Virginie Diaz of the Agence Française de Développement, Issei Sakano of the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Japan, and Mae Trang Nguyen, J.D., 2013, New York University School of Law. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Filomen D’Agostino and Max E. Greenberg Research Fund at New York University School of Law.

References

Agence Française de Développement (2008) “Land Governance and Security of Tenure in Developing Countries.” White Paper, online: <http://www.fig.net/pub/fig_wb_2009/papers/gov/gov_4_vignacq.pdf>..>Google Scholar
Amnesty International (2008) “Rights Razed: Forced Evictions in Cambodia,” online: <www.amnesty.org> (search “rights razed”; then follow “Cambodia: Rights Razed” hyperlink; then follow “pdf” hyperlink) (last accessed 5 February 2013).+(search+“rights+razed”;+then+follow+“Cambodia:+Rights+Razed”+hyperlink;+then+follow+“pdf”+hyperlink)+(last+accessed+5+February+2013).>Google Scholar
Arrunada, Benito, & Garoupa, Nuno (2005) “The Choice of Titling System in Land.” 48 Journal of Law and Economics 709727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baharoglu, Deniz (2002) “World Bank Experience in Land Management & The Debate on Tenure Security,” online: <http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTURBANDEVELOPMENT/Resources/336387-1169585750379/land_final.pdf> (last accessed 11 February 2014).+(last+accessed+11+February+2014).>Google Scholar
Binswanger, Hans P., Deininger, Klaus, & Feder, Gershon (1993) “Power, Distortions, Revolt, and Reform in Agricultural Land Relations,” World Bank Working Paper WPS (last accessed July 2013).Google Scholar
Cambodian Council of Land Policy (2011) Report on Achievements of Land Reform Implementation (2002−2009) and Ways Forward through the Program Based Approach (2009−2013), June (on file with authors).Google Scholar
Carmichael, Robert (2010) “Conflicts Simmer Over Land Concessions.” Phnom Penh Post, 14 April, online: <http://www.ipsnews.net/2010/04/development-cambodia-conflicts-simmer-over-land-concessions/>.Google Scholar
Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (2008) “Title Through Possession or Title Through Position? Respect for Housing, Land and Property Rights in Cambodia” (November), online: <http://www.cohre.org/sites/default/files/cambodia_title_through_possession_or_title_through_position_nov_2008.pdf>..>Google Scholar
Demsetz, Harold (1967) “Toward a Theory of Property Rights.” 57 American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings of the Seventy-ninth Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association 347359.Google Scholar
de Soto, Hernando (1989) The Other Path, New York: Perseus Books.Google Scholar
de Soto, Hernando (2000) The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Feder, Gershon, Onchan, Tongroj, Chalamwong, Yongyuth& Hongladarom, Chira (1988) Land Policies and Farm Productivity in Thailand, , Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, for the World Bank.Google Scholar
Finnmap FM-International Cambodia (2010) “Major Reference Projects in Cambodia,” online <http://www.finnmap-cambodia.com/ProRefFMC.pdf> (accessed 26 September 2013).+(accessed+26+September+2013).>Google Scholar
Fitzpatrick, Daniel & McWilliam, Andrew (2013) “Bright-Line Fever: Simple Legal Rules and Complex Property Customs among the Fataluku of East Timor.” 47 Law & Society Review 311343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grimsditch, Mark & Henderson, Nick (2009) “Tenure Insecurity and Inequality in the Cambodia Land Sector, ” online: <http://www.babcambodia.org/untitled/untitled.pdf>.Google Scholar
Haugerud, Angelique (1989) “Land Tenure and Agrarian Change in Kenya.” 59 Africa 6190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Katz, Larissa (2012) “Governing Through Owners: How and Why Formal Private Property Rights Enhance State Power,” 160 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 20292060.Google Scholar
Kerekes, Carrie B. & Williamson, Claudia R. (2010) “Propertyless in Peru, Even with a Government Land Title.” 69 American Journal of Economics and Sociology 10111033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levi, Margaret (1988) Of Rule and Revenue, Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
Lim, H. E.Lim, Im Chhun (2012) Speech, online: <http://www.cdc-crdb.gov.kh/cdc/gdcc/nineteenth/agenda5_gov_en.htm> (last accessed 11 February 2014).+(last+accessed+11+February+2014).>Google Scholar
Lim, Voan (1997) “Land Regime in Cambodia.” Unpublished manuscript, Phnom Penh.Google Scholar
LMAP (Cambodian Land Management Administration Project) (2002) Project Appraisal Document (January) (on file with authors).Google Scholar
Mgbako, Chiet al. (2010) “Forced Eviction and Resettlement in Cambodia: Case Studies from Phnom Penh.” 9 Wash. U. Global Stds. 3962, online: <http://digitalcommons.law.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1040&context=globalstudies>.Google Scholar
Miceli, Thomas J., Munneke, Henry J., Sirmans, C.F., & Turnbull, Geoffrey K. (2002) “Title Systems and Land Values.” 45 Journal of Law and Economics 565582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
MLMUPC (Cambodian Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction) (2010) “Annual Progress Report 2010: Achievements of the Implementation of National Strategic Development Plan and Way Forward for 2011” (on file with authors).Google Scholar
Mydans, Seth (2012) “A Battle, Primarily, Over Land in Cambodia,” New York Times, 23 June, online: <http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/20/a-battle-primarily-over-land-in-cambodia/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0>..>Google Scholar
Narula, Smita (2013) “The Global Land Rush: Markets, Rights, and the New Politics of Food.” 49 Stanford Journal of International Law 101175.Google Scholar
Nhean So, Munin (2010) “Land Reforms and Registration in Cambodia.” Unpublished manuscript, on file with authors, Phnom Penh.Google Scholar
Pinckney, Thomas J., & Kimuyu, Peter K. (1994) “Land Tenure Reform in East Africa: Good, Bad or Unimportant?”. 3 Journal of African Economies 128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rabe, Alison (2013) “Cambodia: Issues and Impacts of Private Land Titling in Indigenous Communities.” ASIA INDIGENOUS PEOPLES PACT, Directive 01BB in Ratanakiri Province (April), online: <http://www.commercialpressuresonland.org/research-papers/directive-01bb-ratanakiri-province-cambodia>..>Google Scholar
Rendall, Matthew, Tremblay, Josee & Baars, Pat (2003) “Land Law of Cambodia: A Study and Research Manual.” EWMI, ADB.Google Scholar
Sar, Boren, & Sar, Senera (2002) “Introduction to Basic Cambodian Law—Cambodian Civil Laws.” Unpublished manuscript, Phnom Penh.Google Scholar
Schneider, Alison Elizabeth (2011) “What Shall We Do Without Our Land? Land Grabs and Resistance in Rural Cambodia.” Paper presented at the International Conference on Global Land Grabbing, World Bank, Washington, DC, 6−8 April.Google Scholar
So, Sokbunthoeun (2011) “Land Rights in Cambodia: How Neopatrimonial Politics Restricts Land Policy Reform.” 84 Pacific Affairs 289308.Google Scholar
Sovann, Sar (2002) “Cambodia: Case Study of Land Policy Reform.” Paper presented at Regional Workshop on Land Issues—Asia, Phnom Penh, 6 June.Google Scholar
Subedi, Surya P. (2012) “Addendum to Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia.” HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (September), online: <http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session21/A-HRC-21-63-Add1_en.pdf>.Google Scholar
UN Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) (2006) “Commission on Human Rights, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Report of the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a Component of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living: Addendum: Mission to Cambodia” U.N. Doc.E/CN.4/2006/ 41/add.3 (21 March) (prepared by Miloon Kothariv), online: <http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G06/119/37/PDF/G0611937.pdf?OpenElement>..>Google Scholar
World Bank (2010) Inspection Panel Investigation Report Cambodia: Land Management and Administration Project, No. 58016-KH (November), online: <http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTINSPECTIONPANEL/Resources/Cambodia_LMAP_for_WEBSITE.pdf>..>Google Scholar
World Bank Media Statement (2009) “Statement from the World Bank on Termination by Royal Government of Cambodia of the Land Management and Administration Project,” online: <http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/EASTASIAPACIFICEXT/CAMBODIAEXTN/0,,contentMDK:22303344~menuPK:293861~pagePK:1497618~piPK:217954~theSitePK:293856,00.html> (last accessed 9 September 2013).+(last+accessed+9+September+2013).>Google Scholar
Zhu, Suli (2000) Songfa xiaxiang: Zhongguo jiceng sifazhidu yanjiu [Sending Law to the Countryside: Research on China’s Basic-Level Judicial System], Beijing: The Chinese University of Law Politics Press.Google Scholar
10
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Creating Law from the Ground Up: Land Law in Post-Conflict Cambodia
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Creating Law from the Ground Up: Land Law in Post-Conflict Cambodia
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Creating Law from the Ground Up: Land Law in Post-Conflict Cambodia
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *