Compulsory Purchase

Compulsory purchase is a power granted to governments to take private property for public use without the consent of the owner, as long as there is a valid public purpose to do so. This power exists in various jurisdictions and is named differently in different countries.

Eminent domain (United States and Philippines)
Land acquisition (India, Malaysia, and Singapore)
Compulsory Purchase (Ireland, United Kingdom)
Resumption (Hong Kong, Uganda)
Resumption or compulsory acquisition (Australia, Barbados, New Zealand, Ireland)
Expropriation (Canada, South Africa)

Compulsory purchase is based on the principle that governments have the authority to acquire privately-owned land when it is deemed necessary for public projects or community development. Public use can include the construction of infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, schools, or hospitals, as well as urban redevelopment or revitalisation initiatives.

When exercising eminent domain, the government is required to provide just compensation to the property owner for the value of the land and any improvements that may be affected by the acquisition. This compensation is intended to ensure that property owners are fairly compensated for the loss of their property.

The specific procedures and requirements for eminent domain vary from country to country and may be governed by specific laws or constitutional provisions. In some cases, there may be legal safeguards and due process requirements to protect the rights of property owners and ensure that the power of eminent domain is not abused.

While eminent domain serves a public purpose by facilitating necessary infrastructure and development, it can be a controversial issue. Conflicts can arise when property owners believe that the compensation offered is insufficient or when they disagree with the necessity or public benefit of the proposed project.

The power of eminent domain reflects the balance between public interests and private property rights. It is a significant legal tool that governments possess to facilitate public projects and initiatives, but it must be exercised responsibly and in accordance with the principles of fairness and just compensation.
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