Community Land Justice In Uganda: Towards Meaningful Harmonisation

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Under customary tenure, land is held either by individuals, families, or communities. The Land Act (1998) provides ways in which communal land owners may register their interest and obtain documented proof of ownership. The Act does not, however, provide a systematic dispute resolution structure for communal land.

Although the 2013 National Land Policy mentions harmonizing the roles of clans and that of formal courts in customary land justice, it does not address the distinct concerns community land presents.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the efforts of communities in getting their lands back from illegal grabbing and to present practical options which may go a long way in helping both courts and communities register successes in community land justice. It suggests ways to realize the 2013 Uganda National Land Policy’s mission to harmonize the administrative roles of traditional land managers and formal courts.