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Land Act, 2009.

Type of law

This Act regulates land tenure and protects rights in land in Southern Sudan. It classifies land as public, community, or private land and provides with respect to the registration of rights in land. The Act pays particular attention to (protection of) customary land rights. The Act consists of 101 sections divided into 16 Chapters: Preliminary Provisions (I); Land Ownership (II); Land Classification (III); Rights to Land (IV); Customary Rights to Land (V); Derivative Rights to Land (VI); Land Administration and Management (VII); Registration of Land Rights (VIII); Acquisition of Land for Investment Purposes (IX); Pastoral Lands (X); Land Use, Social and Environmental Preservation (XI); Expropriation of Land for Public Interests (XII); Land Rights Restitution and Compensation (XIII); Unauthorized Occupancy (XIV); Land Disputes Settlement (XV); Miscellaneous Provisions (XVI).
At the outset, the Act defines objectives shall be observed and pursued in the application of this Act and the general principles of land ownership. All land in Southern Sudan is owned by the people of Southern Sudan and its usage shall be regulated by the Government. Land may be customary, freehold or leasehold. Every person shall have the right to acquire or own property as regulated by law and as stipulated in Article 32 (1) of the Constitution. Pursuant to Article 32 (2) of the Constitution, no right in land shall be expropriated or confiscated save by law in the public interest and in consideration for a prompt and fair compensation. Rights in land under customary tenure shall be an assured security of occupancy irrespective of whether or not their interest is held individually or in association with others. Customary land shall be demarcated and registered in accordance with the provisions of this Act and any other law. Right to land shall not be denied by the Government of Southern Sudan, State Government or community on the basis of sex, ethnicity or religion. Women shall have the right to own and inherit land together with any surviving legal heir or heirs of the deceased as stipulated in Article 20(5) of the Constitution. Every person shall have access to land for housing, cultivation, pasture, grazing, or fishing as shared resources as shall be regulated by this Act, rules and regulations. Foreign investment in land shall be regulated principally by the Investment Law of 2008.
Traditional Authority within a specific community may allocate customary land rights for residential, agricultural, forestry, and grazing purposes. the act sets out procedures for and conditions limiting such allocation. Traditional Authority may on behalf of the community, in accordance with customary law and practices, cancel a customary land right.
A Derivative right to land shall confer the right of occupancy or usage upon a person or community and shall be registered by the Land Administration. Derivative rights to land shall include lease, sub-lease, usufruct, easement and any interest analogous to these rights. These rights are defined by this Act.
The Act defines powers and duties of the Government of Southern Sudan and of states in respect of land administration. It requires County Land Authorities to be established. These authorities shall, among other things, hold and allocate public lands vested in them. There shall also be established at the Payam level a Payam Land Council that shall be responsible for the management and administration of land in the different Bomas composing the Payam. The Southern Sudan Land Commission shall exercise the functions and duties as stipulated in Article 181(1) of the Constitution.
The Land Registry shall be established within the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Environment in the Government of Southern Sudan and shall be decentralized throughout Southern Sudan. All Land collectively or individually owned in Southern Sudan shall be registered and given a title in accordance with this Act. The Act defines the effect of registration.
Investment in land shall reflect an important interest for the community or people living in the locality. It shall contribute economically and socially to the development of the local community. The Concerned Ministries in the Government of Southern Sudan and the State and the Investment Authority shall consult with the Community concerned on any decision related to the land that the investor intends to acquire and the view of the Community shall duly be taken into consideration. Pastoral lands in Southern Sudan shall be delineated and protected by the appropriate level of land administration and management based on a comprehensive land use planning system. Any allocation of land for investment purposes shall be subject to a social, economic and environmental impact assessment to ensure that the social, economic and environmental implications of the activities on the land are taken into account before any decision is made thereon. The Government of Southern Sudan, State Government, local community, any individual or organization shall restore the land which has been degraded due to economic activities or misuse. The Act provides with respect to resettlement and restitution of rights in land resulting from involuntary displacement during the civil war. Proceedings for eviction may be instituted against any person who unlawfully occupied a piece of land in contravention of the provisions of this Act or any other law.
Date of text
Upon the effective date of this Act, any national law addressing issues under this Act shall cease to operate in Southern Sudan provided that all proceedings, orders and regulations taken or made thereunder, except to the extent they are repealed by or are otherwise inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, shall remain in force or effect, until they are repealed or amended in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
Source language


Legislation Amendment