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Land Claims Court

Category: Organisation
Sub Category:Statutory Body
State/Country:Republic of South Africa
Summary Information:
The Land Claims Court was established in 1996 under the Restitution of Land Rights Act 1994 ('the Act'). It is a specialist court that hears matters arising out of South Africa's programme of land reform, when the parties to those land claims have been unable to reach an agreement through a mediation or negotiation process.

These claims are referred to it by the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, whose role it is to manage and mediate these claims.

According to its website, 'aspects of the Court's jurisdiction and proceedings are peculiar to the functions it performs, for example, it may conduct any part of its proceedings on an informal or inquisitorial basis and it may convene hearings in any part of the country to make it more accessible.'(Land Claims Court)
Detailed Information:
The Act stipulates that the Court shall have regard to the following matters when considering any matter:
  • The desirability of providing for restitution of rights in land to any person or community dispossessed as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices;
  • The desirability of remedying past violations of human rights;
  • If restoration of a right in land is claimed, the feasibility of such restoration;
  • The desirability of avoiding major social disruption;
  • The amount of compensation or any other consideration received in respect of the dispossession; and
  • The history of dispossession, the hardship caused, the current use of the land and the history of the acquisition and use of the land (s 33).

    The Court may make orders including: the restoration of any right in land; the grant of an appropriate right in alternative, state-owned land; and that the claimant be granted compensation, or become the beneficiary of a state support programme for housing or allocation and development of rural land (s 35).

  • Related Entries

  • Richtersveld Community Land Settlement
  • Organisation
  • Commission on Restitution of Land Rights
  • Legislation
  • Restitution of Land Rights Act 1994
  • Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996
  • Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act, 1996 (South Africa)
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Apartheid
  • South African Land Reform Programme

  • Glossary

    Statutory Body

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