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Land Law must follow Constitution

Update: April, 11/2013 - 08:31

The adoption of the revised Land Law should be delayed until the approval of amended Constitution is completed, says law professor Pham Duy Nghia. He spoke with newspaper Thoi bao Kinh te Sai gon (Sai gon Economics Times).

Do you agree that the Land Law should only be adopted following the approval of the amended Constitution? [The Land Law is slated to be passed in May. The Constitution is scheduled to be approved at the end of this year?.

I can't agree more and I even favour further delay in the approval of the law. We all know that low quality laws constitute a hindrance to national development. And revision of a law is very costly. Just take the building of a new house on an empty plot and rehabilitating/an old house and you'll see the differences.

I think approval for amending our 1993 Land Law should be delayed as it is a component regulated in the Constitution. During discussions of amendments to the 1992 Constitution, diverse opinions - pro and con - were raised.

Don't you think that the delay in the approval of the Land Law will further hamper the benefits of those who have land-use rights revoked?

We all know law building is a long and complicated process. It can't be done in a few months. The law is a set of nominative standards which have long value. That's why when the law makers feel that the law is not mature enough to be enacted, we should wait.

While waiting for the law to come, the Government can issue policies to fill in the gap. For example, when farmers petition against authorities converting agriculture land for other development purposes, the Government can issue temporary policies on land acquisition and compensation.

However, in the case of rice cultivation land, decisions must be approved by the Prime Minister. However, what's more important is that the law must not go against the Constitution.

At present, a debate on land ownership in the Constitution is still going on. So I don't think that the Land Law should be approved at the coming May National Assembly meeting.

What do you think of multi-ownership over land?

Article 58, paragraph 2 and sentence 2 of the draft Constitution says that the land-use right is the property right which is protected by law.

I personally support this change in the Constitution. When the Government wants to use land for national defence or security purposes, it must be acquired or the land-use rights are revoked.

Why do you say that the land-use rights written in the draft Constitution are incomplete?

Once the Constitution recognises the land-use right is the property right, it means that the rights cannot be revoked and the land cannot be nationalised. And it can only be acquired when it is used for national security and defence objectives or for the interest of the nation. These principles must be well expressed in the constitution so that the Land Law must abide by what's written in the constitution.— VNS


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