By: L.N. Reklai
April 13, 2017 (Koror, Palau) RPPL 10-5, the fifth bill to become law within this 10th government restored Land Court’s full operations and removed the deadline formerly imposed on Land Court to adjudicate land cases.
For seven months, Land Court has not been able to hear cases on land claims, private or public nor has it been able to issue determinations of ownerships.
RPPL 9-56 set the deadline for Land Court to make all land ownership determinations by August 11, 2016. By August 11, with no extension or removal of the deadline, Land Court’s ability to hear cases and make determinations ended. 535 land cases were pending at the time of the deadline, 434 of which were private land claims.
The inability of congress to extend the deadline or remove it altogether was caught up in a deadlock between House and the Senate over the amendment to re-open public land claims.
The bill that was signed into law RPPL 10-5 yesterday by President Remengesau, contained no amendment to re-open claims.
However, it removed the deadline to determine land ownership entirely, removed the deadline set for Bureau of Land and Survey to monument and survey and reclassify Land Registration Officers as civil service employees. [/restrict]