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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 7, 2016

Expropriation Procedures in Germany and the Netherlands: Ready for the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure?

Björn Hoops EMAIL logo


Throughout the world, particularly in the Global South, state authorities expropriate property rights without following a fair, transparent, and participatory procedure. The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure provide good governance standards for expropriation procedures that are the results of in-depth world-wide consultations with all stakeholders. Not only countries in the Global South, however, but also countries in Global North are meant to observe the Guidelines. Whether or not expropriation procedures in Germany and the Netherlands are ready for the Guidelines is the topic of this contribution. The Guidelines contain several recommendations for fair, transparent, and participatory expropriation procedures. The state should empower affected persons to participate. Information about the procedure and the subject-matter should be widely disseminated. Participation should take the form of deliberations at a point in time when affected persons can still influence the decision to expropriate property. Obligations to balance all involved interests and to furnish reasons should also form part of a good expropriation procedure. German and Dutch law mostly comply with these Guidelines. However, these systems do not seem to empower participants sufficiently, and do not show a sufficient commitment to deliberations among participants and between participants and the authority. Also, German law does not inform holders of contractual use rights as well as it informs holders of registered property rights.

  1. Please note:The analysis of the Voluntary Guidelines is based upon: B. Hoops, ‘The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure: Distilling Good Governance Standards for Expropriation Procedures’, in: S. Bouly, A. Apers, E. Dewitte, & D. Gruyaert (eds), Property Law Perspectives III (Intersentia 2015), pp. 3–26.

Published Online: 2016-12-7
Published in Print: 2016-12-1

© 2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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