The Group met on September 3rd and October 16th in a conference room generously made available by the Centre de Coopération Haiti-Canada. We reviewed the first draft of the second Manual of Haitian Land Transactions, which will serve as a guide to property owners, farmers, and residents of informal neighborhoods alike of their rights and responsibilities to secure their land rights, according to current Haitian law.
The chapters on the legal system and the legal and administrative procedures were written by Me Gilbert Giordani and a group of students from the University of Quisquéya Law School. They spent several months researching these rights and transactions through a detailed study of the laws and codes, as well as interviews with leading experts and practitioners. They have written about the responsibilities of landowners to maintain clear ownership once a purchase is complete, about the conditions for living on State land, and about the rights accrued over time through possession, include adverse possession. They have also completed chapters explaining the process for “lotissement” or subdivision, and “copropriété” or condominium.
The contextual chapters were researched and drafted by a team at Architecture for Humanity. They include an introduction presenting the Group and the objectives of this Manual, a chapter on the evolution of State policies on land tenure and the relevant government institutions that manage land, a review of the historical origins of the land tenure system in Haiti, and an explanation of the principal customary and informal tenure forms that exist in both urban and rural areas across the country.
The Group offered feedback on all the chapters. The main suggestion was to include case studies to illustrate the laws and transactions in practice.