Palestine Government Publishes Land Expropriation Ordinance

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

A draft of the Expropriation of Land Ordinance, 1926, intended to “repeal certain laws regarding the compusory acquisition of land required for undertakings of a public nature and for the assessment of compensation for land so acquired, and to make other provisions in lieu thereof,” was published in the Official Gazette of July 1st.

The High Commissioner will certify whether land is of a public undertaking nature within the meaning of the Ordinance, and allow the promoters to negotiate with the owners for its purchase or acquisition, which may be effected by any company or trustee, guardian curator or other person representing any person under disability. This provision may be carried out “by force of this Ordinance, and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law, memorandum or articles of Association or other document,” according to the ordinance. “If no agreement is reached, the High Commissioner must be applied to. The amount of compensation is to be agreed upon among the negotiating parties. Procedure is specified in cases where there is failure to treat or agree as to compensation, which may also be determined by the Land Court, in the event of permanent disagreement. The rules of assessment of compensation by the Court are given in full, while the right of appeal is permitted within fifteen days of the award, if it exceeds £ E200.

Further provisions as to costs and compensation are laid down, while the promoters may sell lands no longer required. The Ordinance equally applies to Wakf lands and other like lands, while expropriation for widening roads is to be gratutious. A betterment charge may also be levied.

Two Ottoman and three recent laws and orders are repealed under the Ordinance, rules and regulations in which may be made at the discretion of the High Commissioner.

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