An International Conference on Current Status and Legal Issues of Land Expropriation in Asia concluded today in Kathmandu analyzing the theme in a broader Asian context.
The experts and participants in the Conference coming from different countries in Asia emphasized the need for finding solutions to many legal problems that are common to the region in the area of land expropriation.
The Conference was participated in by 30 international delegates and the faculties and law students of Kathmandu University School of Law. in Dhulikhel.
Delivering his keynote speech Dr Surya Dhungel, a senior advocate of Nepal emphasized that though the comparative legal framework, the procedures and practices of land acquisition and compensation, and approaches for valuating compensation, are now easily available, there are still some gaps and missing elements in the understanding of land expropriation laws in the world.
Welcoming the Conference participants, Dr Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha, the Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University said that the "foundation of law and justice is the prerequisite for development and human prosperity. As a University with the vision of ‘Quality Education for Leadership’ we are fully committed to advance the education, implementation and advocacy of the rule of law in Nepal and around the world. This was the main reason behind the establishment of Kathmandu University School of Law. We are very fortunate that our team of outstanding faculties and staffs, promising students, and collaborators like you [the members of Asia Legal Information Network - ALIN) all are working with utmost dedication to fulfill this noble mission," he said.
The theme of the Conference ‘Land Expropriation Law in Asia’ is also perfectly timed as the country is entering the new era of growth and development in areas like hydropower, road expansion, etc., that require major infrastructural constructions.
The Conference was also addressed by Dr Ikhyeon Rhee, the President of Korea Legislation Research Institute. He reiterated that Asia is "experiencing a sea change in social structures resulting from unpredictable natural disasters, sluggish economies, and technological developments. These changes, and the resulting issues, are hard to resolve alone or among a few countries. Asian countries must draw their efforts together to seek solutions to such changes by utilizing its geographical proximity and commonalities in culture."
Many issues including the right to property, the issues surrounding transparency and openness in legal regime regarding public ownership of land, the principle of 'public purpose' as the expropriation requirement, the issue of just and living compensation, etc were discussed in the Conference in the perspective of different countries. Professor Rahmat Ullah (Bangladesh), Nguyen Nhu Phat (Vietnam), Professor Alexandr Svetlicinii (Macau), Sunjidmaa Batsuren (Mongolia), Professor Sijit Riyanto (Indonesia), Manoj Kumar Sinha (India), Professor Zhu Yan (China), Dr Eunhye Jang (Korea) and Professor Teilee Kuong (Cambodia) presented their perspectives from the podium which later followed with further discussion on the floor.
The Conference was co-hosted by Korea Legislative Research Institute (KLRI) and Kathmandu University School of Law (KUSL) under the Asia Legal Information Network (ALIN) established more than a decade ago for this sort of initiative.
Dr Bipin Adhikari, constitutional expert and Dean of the School of Law thanked all visiting experts and practitioners and said the Conference has served its purpose well.
The papers and commentaries discussed in the Conference have been published and are available for interested experts and stakeholders.