18 August 2017

Liberia: House of Representatives of Liberia Passes Land Right Law

Monrovia — The House of Representatives has passed a law that gives citizens more power to manage their land.

The law is the "Land right law of the Republic of Liberia".

According to the committee, the Land Rights was passed after a thorough review and critical scrutiny which involved consultation with stakeholders, experts, International partners as well as Civil Society actor.

The committee submitted its report to plenary based on issues which include; the defining and delineating the different categories of Land ownership and rights recognized in Liberia, and to prescribe the means by which each of the categories of Land may be acquired, used, transferred and otherwise managed.

Committee in its report also calls for the insurance by all communities, families, individuals and legal entities to enjoy secure land rights free of fear that their land will be taken from them, except in accordance with due process of law and to confirm, declare and ensure equal protection with respect to land ownership, use and to confirm, declare and ensure equal access and equal protection with respect to land ownership, use and management, including ensuring that customary land is given protection equal to private Land and that Land ownership is permitted for all Liberians regardless of their identity, whether on custom, ethnicity, tribe, language, gender or otherwise.

Article 20: of the laws calls for the Acquisition of land by Purchase from the State: "A Private Land may be acquired by purchase of a Government Land or Public Land from the Government, upon complying with the provision of this Act, the Public Procurement and Concession Act and any other laws and regulations of Liberia governing sale and purchase of Government Land and Public Land.

It also states that Public Land may be acquired as a Private Land only upon complying with the provisions of this Act governing the sale of Government Land and Public Land as well as the Public Procurement and Concession Act and any other laws of Liberia governing sale of public assets generally.

In article 21: of the same law that talks about the Acquisition by Purchase from a Community states that Private Land may be acquired by grant of a defined portion of a Customary Land to a Resident as a Residential Area; provided that the total area of Customary Land which may be acquired by or granted to a Resident shall not exceed one (1) acre.

"Except as provided in Section (1), no Person shall purchase and/or hold as Private Land any portion of Customary Land after ninety-nine (99) years as of the Effective Date of this Act.

"The Purchase of Customary Land for use as a Private Land shall be upon complying with the provisions of this Act and any regulations promulgated by the Commission to govern the sale of Customary Land.

Also in Article 22: Acquisition of a Private Land by Adverse Possession A person acquires a Private Land by Adverse Possession where (i) he or she moves on the said piece of Private Land under any asserted claim of right and remains in possession for a continuous period of twenty (20) or more years; or (ii) where he or she moves on the said piece of Private Land under a color of title and remains in possession of the land for a continuous, uninterrupted period of ten (10) years.

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