On July 9, 2013, in the Council of Ministers meeting room at the Government Palace in Dili and approved the Proposal of Law on Expropriation.
right to private property is a fundamental right protected by the
Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. There is however
one exception foreseen in the Constitution, giving the State the
opportunity to expropriate property for reasons of public utility. This
prerogative of the State is essential for the development of
infrastructures that serve the population. But taking into consideration
the implications of expropriation on the lives of citizens, the
Constitution establishes clear limits to its exercise, being only
possible to apply when the public interest is concerned and upon payment
of fair compensation.
This law regulates this constitutional
precept and the administrative procedure to make the expropriation for
reasons of public utility, establishing the necessary mechanisms to
ensure respect for the rights of those affected by expropriation.
drafting of this law resulted from knowledge accumulated over several
years of studies and public consultations on issues related to the
ownership of real estate. Taking into account the impact of this law on
the lives of people, there was special care to standardize it with the
instruments of international laws, to which Timor-Leste is party, such
as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), all of which are an
integral part of the Timorese legal system. (Extract from ETLJB post Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers 9 July 2013)