By: L.N. Reklai
March 27, 2017 (Koror, Palau) A bill to restore Land Court to its full operation passed the final reading in the House and was transmitted to Senate on Friday for action.
The proposed bill seeks to restore Land Court’s ability to hear land claims and issue determination of ownership. The bill no longer impose a deadline on Land Court to complete this task.
Furthermore, the bill removes the deadline that was set for land survey and monumentation and reclassify land registration officers as civil service employees and not contract employees.
On August 2016 the law giving Land Court authority to conduct land claim hearings and determine ownership of land lapsed and Land Court was essentially left without its primary function. All on-going and pending land claim cases were stopped and no new cases were transmitted since August of 2016.
Attempts during the 9th OEK to extend and even remove the deadline for Land Court operation was blocked due to riders that seek to remove deadline set by law for claiming of public lands and to re-open public land claims.
The House bill 10-24-1S,HD2 was passed on first reading at Senate Special Session yesterday and referred to Judiciary and Government Affairs Committee of the Senate. [/restrict]