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Access to justice in forced land eviction, Central Uganda The use of law amongst other means and access to justice Ezrah Schraven – Wageningen University.

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Presentation on theme: "Access to justice in forced land eviction, Central Uganda The use of law amongst other means and access to justice Ezrah Schraven – Wageningen University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Access to justice in forced land eviction, Central Uganda The use of law amongst other means and access to justice Ezrah Schraven – Wageningen University

2 Research Question How do people displaced by unlawful eviction try to deal with their situation, and why? What do they perceive to be the best way to deal with their situation? Is this what they actually try? And if not, why not? What moves people to choose certain strategies and what does this tell us about their society, about access to justice and about the cultural setting?

3 Theory Actor oriented approach - Norman Long The actor oriented approach allowed me to take in account different angles and different parties within the conflict. It allowed for diverse factors, economical, social, political and cultural to surface in my research. Access to justice research & literature - Anderson, Bedner & Vel.

4 Methodology Ethnography Interviews Local sources & Makerere Network, network network

5 People I did not talk to: Representatives of enforcement like military and police: Ministry of Lands People victim to state involved landgrab that had moved out of the area. Representatives of parties initiating landgrab General people Land brokers Local government officials NGO’s working on landgrabbing Victims of landgrabbing by the state, the landlord and family Choice of research respondents

6 Research Data Unlawful land eviction - State - Landlord - Family

7 Research Data Mubende case In the Mubende case people had been living on the land in question for decades. After a sudden and violent eviction people tried to defend themselves by starting a court case after the expertise, moral and final support was secured by NGO’s. Despite this aid many of the community had no or little knowledge about court procedures and wrong estimations of the duration of the court proceedings lead to much frustration and desperation of the villagers. There is talk of compensation, but it has not reached most of the community. Justice delayed is justice denied: The court process has been manipulated and has been dragging on for over 10 years now. People still feel the need to be compensated for their losses because of personal needs and because they feel they have been dealt with in an unjust manner.

8 Research Data Benet case Traditional ownership, no land titles. People rejected the displacement by returning to their lands and by protesting. A court case was started on the matter when the people gained access to expertise, moral and financial support. Positive court decision: court ordered damaged should be paid in social services, and people should get access to their land again Court order not honored by the loosing party. Enforcement of this ruling has not taken place (perhaps since the loosing part has a monopoly on enforcement)

9 Analysis Bedner & Vel Available online:

10 Analysis -Problem  Land eviction -Awareness  wrongdoing -Categorizing  violation rights -Defining Grievances  which rights -Exploring available (legal) repertoire  where to go (LC court etc.) -Access to forum of redress -Handling grievances  sound court procedure -Redress  enforcement Bedner & Vel Available online:

11 Analysis Awareness of violation ‘they cant do this’ Sense of injustice (Lynn Hunt) Awareness of rights No specific knowledge on rights &limited access Awareness shows in seeking (landlord/family) In case of the state: to let go

12 Analysis Access to justice boils down to: Safety Power of the opposite party Corruption Government interest Functioning institutions Corruption (Lack of) knowledge Financial resources (Access to) land titles Confusion tenure systems used People seek: Survival and justice

13 Analysis Functioning institutions Functioning government Functioning legal apparatus Functioning enforcement Knowledge Sensitizing about formalities Sensitizing about procedures Access to knowledge (location/language) Financial resources Formalities Travel/access Procedures Safety

14 Concluding Awareness is there: forum shopping Safety is a key issue State interest needs to be geared towards population State interest is connected to knowledge, corruption, financial restrain Actions depend on socio economic status & safety: No action, witchcraft, mob justice, minor legal action, court Result: in government conflict: non..

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