Photo: Sonny Abesamis

Debates on the action of restitution

This document provides an analysis and reflection on the legal challenges of the implementation of land restitution action, the peculiarities of its mechanisms and procedures, and its more complex challenges.

 

The restitution of dispossessed and abandoned lands is one of the most important efforts of the Colombian State in searching for a sustainable solution to the humanitarian crisis that caused the armed conflict and the restoration of the rights of the victims. This unprecedented experience in our country has not only succeeded in generating admiration in the international community, but has become a must for other countries that have also suffered the devastating consequences of the conflict.

The consolidation of these results requires hard work that constantly faces new challenges, especially in the Colombian context where conflict, impunity and state weakness persist in rural territories. In order to solve the inherent challenges of land restitution, it is essential that there is an adequate understanding of its legal and regulatory framework, and to think of solutions based on mechanisms, institutions or procedures that make it more effective.

This research focused on specific legal problems with direct effects on the scope of land restitution. On the one hand, we give an analysis of the peculiarities of its mechanisms and procedures, and also examine one of its most complex challenges: the examination of the concept of good faith and its effects on the resolution of conflicts over land. In addition, the origin and the basis of compensations are considered for both the victims of dispossement or forced abandonment of land and for the “secondary occupants”, who have been recognized in international standards.

This document was created under the framework of a cooperation agreement between the Special Administrative Unit for Land Restitution Management and Dejusticia, in order to promote the analysis and reflection on the legal challenges of the implementation of land restitution.


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