Land Rights and the Rule of Law

Land Rights and the Rule of Law

Land rights are just as important in the modern era as centuries ago due to rapid development, population growth, and other factors.

In fact, it is now more important for people to know their land rights because once the government reclaims a piece of land from you there is practically no way to get it back.

That is why everyone needs to be aware of this issue and know about ways in which they can protect themselves from issues relating to land rights.

How Land Rights Are Acquired

Before discussing how to protect yourself and your property in the modern era, it is important to understand what land rights are and how they are acquired. To understand this concept, it is necessary to first understand how land can be owned by different people.

Land rights are acquired in the following manner:

  • The land belongs to a sovereign state that can grant the right to own land to its citizens.
  • The owner of the land can grant the right owner of a piece of land to someone else, if he or she does not want it anymore.
  • Sometimes, even though one person owns part of the property some other person will claim ownership over certain sections/pieces of it. This is called partition and is very common in India and Africa.

The above can help people understand how land rights are acquired, but they need to remember that they do not necessarily hold true in all situations.

For instance, if a tree grows on your property and you plant it then technically it belongs to you.

However, if someone else planted the tree first then chances are that the tree will belong to them unless you get permission from that person to take care of it.

However, if you buy a piece of land then you become the owner regardless of whether the previous owner used it or not.

Understanding Land rights

Indigenous land rights are recognized by international law as well as the national legal systems of common law and civil law countries. Indigenous peoples’ land rights are known as aboriginal title in common law jurisdictions.

Customary land is the most common type of land ownership in jurisdictions governed by customary law.

Land reform refers to government measures that take and/or redistribute land, such as a land grant.

Land rights refer to an individual’s inalienable right to freely obtain, use, and possess land as they see fit, as long as their activities on the land do not infringe on the rights of others.

This is not to be confused with access to land, which permits persons to use land economically. Instead, land rights address the ownership of land, which gives security and expands human capacities.

When a person merely has access to land, they are always threatened with expulsion based on the decisions of the landowner, which inhibits financial stability.

Land rights are an essential component of Land Laws because they socially enforce groups of individuals’ rights to own land in accordance with a nation’s land laws.

Land law refers to a country’s legal obligations for land ownership, whereas land rights refer to the societal acceptability of land ownership.

Landesa believes that, while the law advocates for equal access to land, land rights in certain countries and cultures may obstruct a group’s ability to actually own land.

Laws are necessary, but they must be supported by cultural tradition and societal acceptance. As a result, a country’s laws regulating land ownership and land rights must be consistent.

Although land rights are critical to raising living standards, certain groups of people are continually excluded from land ownership legislation.

Although the legislation allows for access to land, cultural hurdles and poverty traps limit minority groups’ capacity to acquire land. To achieve equality, these groups must gain adequate land rights that are recognized both socially and legally.

Women’s Land Rights

Several researchers contend that women’s lack of adequate land rights has a negative impact on both their immediate family and the greater community.

With land ownership, women can generate an income and distribute it more evenly throughout the household. According to Tim Hanstad, establishing appropriate land rights for women is good because once women can exercise those rights, the following will be promoted:

  • Women will be better positioned to obtain Microcredit.
  • Women will be less likely to catch and spread HIV/AIDS since they would no longer be forced to engage in prostitution.
  • Their children will be more likely to receive an education and remain in school for a longer period of time.
  • Women will be less likely to be victims of domestic abuse.
  • Women will be better positioned to obtain Microcredit.

Women have access to land in many regions of the world in order to farm and develop the land; nevertheless, there are traditions and cultural standards that prevent women from inheriting or owning land.

As a result, women are forced to rely on their husbands, siblings, or dads for a living and a place to reside.

If there is an illness, domestic abuse, or death in the family, women will be landless and unable to raise crops for subsistence or rent land for profit. Land ownership is an important source of security and income for women, enhancing empowerment and alleviating poverty.

Rule of law

The rule of law refers to the traditional legal principles and order that a country’s people live by.

Rule of law gives citizens an assurance that the legal system is just, fair and equitable. This implies that justice will be done for all, regardless of an individual’s race, class or gender.

With proper respect for laws on paper, one can be assured that justice will be applied equally to all individuals.

Additionally, rule of law provides economic stability since it promotes financial security through fairness and equality. People will not be intimidated by powerful individuals or corporations that are willing to use force to get what they want.

People then will have access to justice and the law, which will promote economic growth. As a result, individuals within a country will have more trust in their government and they will be more likely to invest in businesses since they believe that the economy is just and stable.

Land rights are necessary to ensure equal protection under the law since they allow people to access land legally.

Property rights law

Equal access to land contributes to societal growth. Property rights law refers to the legal protection for an individual’s right to have, use, or possess a piece of land.

Land is not only a source of food and materials, but it also confers status on its owner. By extension, owning land provides the owner with economic stability and social mobility. To achieve equality in land ownership rights, property law must provide equal protection for all groups within a society.

However, property rights can be infringed upon by legislation. For instance, laws may restrict ownership to certain groups of people that have statutory or customary ownership rights.

Property rights also can be directly violated. For instance, farmworkers are prevented from carrying out their civic duties by the influence of powerful individuals and corporations that take advantage of them.

As a result, law enforcement agencies must achieve equal protection while protecting the rights of everyone. In this way, property law is necessary but not sufficient for achieving societal equality and prosperity.

In addition, land rights are particularly important because they can determine the fate of a country.  For instance, they have played a major role in several countries in terms of development and governance.

Recent research shows that land issues were key drivers in the Rwandan genocide that took place between April and June 1994.

Rights of land ownership: Philippines

In general, only Filipino citizens and corporations or partnerships with at least 60% of the shares owned by Filipinos are permitted to own or acquire land in the Philippines.

Foreigners or non-Philippine nationals may, however, purchase condominiums, structures, and enter into long-term land leases. There have been a few cases where the rule on non-Filipino ownership and leasing of land has been waived.

Up to now, the rule on equal access to land is not followed and there is unequal distribution of land in the Philippines. The inequity in land distribution has caused problems on how citizens settle and develop their lives.

In some provinces like Cebu, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Tarlac, and Negros Occidental where there are vast property ownerships owned by the elite class.

The poor inhabitants of these areas do not have any access to land ownership because of social and economic factors. Consequently, these people are unable to call these places home and they are forced to live in the outskirts of their provinces.

In the recent years, there has been an increasing trend on migration from the poor rural areas to cities such as Manila, Cebu, Legaspi and Dumaguete. There is no law regulating this growing trend except for ordinary citizens who are affected by this illegal migration.

Nevertheless, Philippine government is trying to implement a law that will resolve the land ownership issues. This law seeks to distribute land equally and fairly to everyone.


What are land rights?

Land rights are the rights and entitlements to resources in land that are recognized by laws, regulations, practice and to a certain extent, custom in a particular country or region.

What is the impact of land rights on women?

The impact of land rights on women is to provide them with access to resources and the ability to control their lives. This has the potential for improving their welfare, educational achievement and employment opportunities.

What are the benefits of women owning land?

Women ownership of land will improve their welfare, access to education and employment opportunities.

What are the disadvantages of women not owning land?

The disadvantages of women not owning land is that gender inequality persists in terms of access to resources and control over their lives.

What is land and property law?

Land and property law is the body of statutes, regulations, customs, and case law dealing with real property ownership.

What is a community land trust?

A community land trust (CLT) is a legal entity that holds title to real estate with the objective of transferring ownership to those who live on or use that property.

What are the rights of land?

The rights of land include:

  • Right to property
  • Right to title, interest in land and usage
  • Right to use the land for any purpose agreed upon or permitted by law or custom

What are the advantages of equal access to land?

The advantages of equal access to land are that it increases prosperity, individual freedom and economic growth.

What are land rights in Philippines?

Citizens may acquire up to 12 hectares of public land by purchase or land patent, or up to 500 hectares via lease.

Private corporations must be at least 60% Filipino-owned and may lease up to 1000 hectares of land for a duration of 25 years, renewable for the same time.

What is rule of law explain?

The mechanism, process, institution, practice, or norm that supports the equality of all citizens before the law, secures a nonarbitrary form of government, and, more broadly, prevents the arbitrary use of power.

What are examples of property rights?

Patents and copyrights can be used to defend property rights by protecting: Physical resources such as houses, vehicles, books, and cellphones are in short supply. Non-human animals such as dogs, cats, horses, and birds. Inventions, ideas, or words are examples of intellectual property.

What are the 4 principles of rule of law?

As a result, the rule of law includes the four universal principles listed below: “the government and its officials and agents are accountable under the law; the laws are clear, publicized, stable, and fair, and they protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.”

How can property rights be violated?

When property is transferred without the consent of its owner and without compensation, whether by force or by fraud, from the person who possesses it to someone who did not create it, I consider it a violation of property rights and plunder.

What is a feudal system?

A feudal system, in the broadest sense, is a social and political structure in which there is a permanent, hereditary aristocracy.

The term “feudal” refers to the social relationship between landholders and peasants under the landed nobility. The power of the nobility was limited not only by their private holdings but also by the obligation to respect a social contract, known as tributum servitium.

What is a legal system?

A legal system is the body of customs and/or statutes that govern the way individuals should behave and how states should interact with each other. It is a group of rules, regulations, and procedures that underlie human behavior.

In general, property rights are based on moral principles. For example, the moral principle of non-aggression requires the prevention of physical force against another person or his possessions without his consent.

What would happen if there were no property rights?

When property rights are not clearly defined or adequately protected, market failure can occur.

That is, no solution that meets the needs of all parties involved can be achieved. Congestion in the streets is an example of an externality that does not have a solution.

How many types of rules of law are there?

The Indian Judicial System is formed by judges through their rulings, orders, and judgements. Civil law, common law, customary law, religious law, and mixed law are the five types of legal systems.

What is the difference between rule by law and rule of law?

Rule by law means that decisions are imposed on citizens, whereas Rule of Law means that the highest lawmaking authority of the land controls the unfettered use of power.

It is a just application of the law for everyone, as long as the law does not violate basic human precepts.

Why should people own land?

For starters, owning land provides the owner with peace of mind. As a long-term, tangible asset, raw land doesn’t wear out or depreciate, and there is nothing that can be stolen or broken on it. It is a limited resource that is reasonably priced to own and requires little upkeep.

What are the Pros of ownership?

The benefits of owning land include:

  • Several studies have shown that farming is more profitable than other business activities. This is because it produces a viable and stable return on investment.
  • The opportunity to experience the hard work, joy, and ingenuity that agriculture needs.
  • Land can be used for income generation. The owner can set aside a portion of the land for annual income-generating activities and retain the rest as his/her reserve.

Similar Posts