After approximately 8 years’ of discussions, the Timor-Leste Parliament recently approved the Country’s Expropriations’ Law (the “Law”) by means of Law 8/2017, of 26 April 2017.
The new Law, which came into force on 27 April 2017, is an important part of the “Land Law Package” that has been in discussion for almost a decade, and that includes a number of other significant statutes that are expected to be approved and/or gazette in the near future. Although expropriation/ eminent domain is always a controversial subject, whatever part of the World you are in, it is an important tool for governments to implement public policies. In a country such as Timor-Leste, where basic urbanization and public infrastructure are still at their early stages, and where non-planned private construction has been the rule, the ability of the State to expropriate private property is a crucial tool that can be used together with adequate urban planning to improve the lives of the general population. It is also an important mechanism that can be used, when necessary, in Private Public Partnerships which the State of Timor-Leste has also started exploring.
Below you will find a list of questions & answers aimed at giving you a brief, general overview of the Law.