1.2. Contribution to the Literature
1.4. A Focus on the Law
1.5. Hierarchy and Timeline of Laws
2.1. Customary Tenure in Africa
2.2. Evolving Global Support for Securer Community Lands
2.3. Reforming the Law
- Customary land interests are real property rights, with equal legal force and effect as provided to non-customary rights (e.g., leasehold and freehold entitlements);
- Customary lands, whether held by individuals, families, groups, or the community as a whole, are protected property, irrespective of whether or not these lands have been formally identified, mapped and registered; this must be taken into account at compulsory acquisition of their lands for a public purpose, and in any national land administration processes affecting their lands;
- Communities are legally enabled to acquire formal collective titles over all or part of their lands without this formalization extinguishing customary incidents of the land or community jurisdiction over it;
- Communities are legal persons for the purposes of land ownership; that is, they are not required to register companies, cooperatives, or other legal entities to own land on their behalf;
- Customary/community lands lawfully include traditionally owned and shared off-farm forests, grazing, swampy lands, and collective title may encompass these properties;
- The community may define membership for purposes of landholding itself, within limitations imposed by bills of rights;
- Communities may govern the distribution of rights of occupancy and use to lands within the property in accordance with their own rules including traditional norms, so long as all community land rules comply with requirements of inclusion, transparency and accountability, and other constitutionally established requirements.
2.4. Registering Community Property
3. The Kenyan Case
3.1. Background to the Community Land Act
3.2. Making New Policy and Law
3.3. The Community Land Estate in Kenya
- Registered in the name of group representatives (i.e., group ranches);
- Lawfully transferred to a specific community or declared to be community land by an Act of Parliament;
- Lawfully held, managed or used by specific communities as community forests, grazing areas or shrines;
- Ancestral lands and lands traditionally occupied by hunter-gatherer communities; and
- Lawfully held as trust land by the county governments (trust lands).
4.1. Strengths of the Law
4.1.1. Constitutional Norms Lay the Foundations
4.1.2. ‘Community’ is Defined in a Forward-Looking Manner
4.1.3. Community Lands Become Lawfully Owned Property
4.1.4. Formalization of Property Parcels Is Strongly Promoted to Double-Lock Security
4.1.5. Security of Derivative Rights Is Well Provided for
4.1.6. Communal Lands Are Directly Provided for
4.1.7. Women Have Backing for Equal Treatment as Landowners and Right Holders
4.1.8. Institutions for Community Land Governance Are Largely Sound
4.1.9. Access to Community Lands by Investors is Reasonably Addressed
4.1.10. Community Lands Provide an Ideal Framework for Restitution of Lost Communal Lands
4.2. Troubling Attributes of the Law
4.2.1. The Purpose of Providing a Choice of Freehold or Customary Title Is Unclear
4.2.2. State Powers Over Community Lands Are Too Open-Ended
4.2.3. Political Will for Securing Community Lands Is Ambivalent
4.2.4. Community Titles as Only a Stepping Stone to Subdivision Is Evident in Official Thinking
4.2.5. The Identity of Communities as Natural Persons Is in Danger of Being Undermined
4.2.6. The Powers of Community Members and the Elected Committee Are Imbalanced
4.2.7. Practical Guideline for Communities Is Still Limited
4.2.8. Risk of Key Community Lands Being Excluded at Registration Is High
Wrongfully Acquired Freeholds with Community Lands Could Is Difficult to Reclaim
Governments May too Easily Withhold Communal Lands
4.2.9. Compensation for Compulsorily Acquired Lands Will Be Token
The Work to Secure Community Property Has Just Begun
Conflicts of Interest
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