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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:Commission Nationale des Terres Biens et Cour Spéciale des Terres et autres Biens du Burundi: un Etat sinistré ou une compétence au fondement légal contestable?
Author:Niyonkuru, Aimé-Parfait
Periodical:Recht in Afrika = Law in Africa = Droit en Afrique (ISSN 2363-6270)
Geographic term:Burundi
External link:https://www.nomos-elibrary.de/index.php?doi=10.5771/2363-6270-2020-1-56
Abstract:This paper discusses the jurisdiction of Burundi's Commission Nationale des Terres et autres Biens (National Commission on Land and other Assets) and of the Cour Spéciale des Terres et autres Biens (Special Court on Land and other Assets) where the State of Burundi, directly or indirectly, is involved. Considering that the double mechanism (i.e. the National Commission on Land and other Assets and the Special Court on Land and other Assets) is meant to deal with disputes opposing either the sinistrés or the sinistrés to third parties, public or private services, the paper particularly questions the jurisdiction rationae personae of the abovementioned mechanism and the receivability of some of the cases. For the purposes of Burundi's law on the CNTB promulgated in December 2013, the term 'sinistré' (literally 'disaster victim') 'refers to the individual or legal person, among others the association or [the] company under private law, the person repatriated, displaced, regrouped or dispersed, widow, orphan, as well as any other person despoiled of his/her goods as result of the tragic events that occurred in (Burundi) since [its] independence' (see art.2, below). Compared to its predecessor, the 2019 Law on the National Commission on Land and other Assets is somewhat restrictive. For the persons listed above to be 'sinistrés', the condition is that they could not make their claims or could not obtain an appropriate follow-up to their request as a result of the socio-political context (see art. 2 in fine). Basically, this paper suggests the lack of jurisdiction of both the Commission and the Court where they did not conclude that one of the parties to the dispute was sinistré in accordance to the definition of this term in each relevant law governing Burundi's Commission on Land and other Assets. The paper further argues that, unless the author of a request before the Commission claims that he/she is a sinistré, his/her case should be declared non-receivable. All these issues are addressed in the light of three cases among those which received significant publicity in media, namely, the so-called RUGOFARM, RUZIZI and KIGERI cases.