Washington International Law Journal




Transformation of land rights from colonial to post-colonial systems in many developing countries was primarily undertaken by two different models: firstly, it was entirely governed by private law to allow voluntary transformation, and secondly, it was under public law where the state placed a tight administrative control during the transformation process. Both models had benefits and limitations, but they generally failed to develop modern property rights systems. A third regime of a mixed private and public law model has been promoted to create balance between private and public orders experienced within Indonesia. The mixed private and public law transformation creates socio-legal deficiencies causing land rights uncertainty and an entanglement of private and public orders. To some extent this model provides a rigorous mechanism to control the manipulation of land by non-state actors, but it also challenges the development of equitable land systems as the governance capacity is limited. The deficiencies of the mixed private and public law model have primarily been caused by the limited governance capacity and a weak legal framework led by inconsistency and arbitrariness. This article examines the mechanism of conversion of land rights and highlights the causes and implications of the land rights transformation deficiencies in the civil law country of Indonesia.

First Page