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大法官解釋表頭

(釋字第 534 號 )      友善列印PRINT  
Interpretation
J.Y.
Interpretation
NO.534 
Date 2001/11/30
Issue Is the law, which provides that in the case where private land has been expropriated but not utilized within one year after payment of expropriation compensation, the original owner may exercise the right of redemption within a five-year period provided that utilization of the land is not prevented by the original owner and other land users unrelated to the owner, in conflict with the constitutional protection of the people's property right?
Holding   The protection and restriction of the people's right to legally acquired land ownership are provided for in Article 143, Paragraph 1, of the Constitution. Expropriations of land are compulsory acquisitions by the government, through lawful procedures, for public utility purposes. The criteria and procedures for expropriation must conform to the principle of necessity stipulated in Article 23 of the Constitution. Article 219, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1, of the Land Act provides that where private lands are expropriated but not yet utilized according to the plans, within one year after payment of expropriation compensation, the original land owners may redeem their lands at the expropriation price by applying to the relevant municipal or county land authorities (or the land authorities of municipalities governed by the central government and land authorities of other municipalities and counties, as amended on January 26, 2000) within the statutory period of five years commencing from the day following the said one-year period. The purpose for reserving the right to redeem expropriated lands to land owners is to prevent unnecessary expropriations or delays in constructing public utility. Therefore, where the organization intending to use the expropriated land (the "intended land user") fails to utilize the land within the one-year period according to the expropriation plan, and such failure can be attributed to the landowner or persons occupying the land on behalf of the owner, then the relevant authorities cannot be held responsible for the delay. On the other hand, if, due to no fault of the landowner, utilization of the land is prevented by other land users unrelated to the owner, then the landowner shall not be deprived of the right to redeem his/her land, provided, however, that the municipal, county and relevant land authorities fail to, within the said one-year period, remove land improvements on their own account and on the land owner's account under Article 215, Paragraph 3, and Article 238 of the Land Act, and that the intended land users fail to commence an action for compensation within the one-year period. The application of Article 219, Paragraph 3, of the Land Act falls within the scope of the foregoing explanation and does not contravene the Constitution.
Reasoning   The protection and restriction of the people's right to legally acquired land ownership are provided for in Article 143, Paragraph 1, of the Constitution. Expropriations of land are compulsory acquisitions by the government, through lawful procedures, for public utility purposes. The criteria and procedures for expropriation must conform to the principle of necessity stipulated in Article 23 of the Constitution. The intended land users should, when expropriating lands pursuant to the procedures set by the Land Act, draft a detailed expropriation plan accompanied by relevant documents and apply for an approval in accordance with Articles 222 and 224, respectively, of the Land Act. Once the intended land users have thereby acquired ownership of the private land, they should commence utilizing the land according to their plans in order to achieve the purpose for expropriation, that is, public utility. Article 219, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 1, of the Land Act provides that where private lands are expropriated but not yet utilized, according to the plans, within one year after payment of expropriation compensation, then the original land owners may redeem their lands at the expropriation price by applying to the relevant municipal or county land authorities within the statutory period of five years commencing from the day following the said one-year period. The purpose for reserving the right to redeem expropriated lands for land owners is to prevent approvals of unnecessary or inappropriate expropriation plans by the expropriation authorities and/or delays in constructing public utilities by intended land users which are in conflict with the appropriateness and necessity of expropriation.

  Therefore, where the intended land users fail to utilize the land within the said one-year period according to the expropriation plan, and such failure can be attributed to the landowner or persons occupying the land on behalf of the owner, then the relevant authorities cannot be held responsible for the delay. On the other hand, if, due to no fault of the landowner, utilization of the land is prevented by other land users unrelated to the owner, then the landowner shall not be deprived of the right to redeem his/her land, provided, however that the municipal, county and relevant land authorities fail to, within the said one-year period, remove land improvements and commence utilizing the land on their own account and on the land owner's account under Article 215, Paragraph 3, and Article 238 of the Land Act. The reason for the foregoing is that it is unreasonable to deny the original land owners the right to redeem when the intended land users fail to initiate an action for compensation against the relevant land authorities' delay in exercising their powers of expropriation within the said one-year period. That is, the original land owners shall not be responsible for the municipal and county land authorities' lack of initiative in executing the plan or the intended land users' failure to exercise their rights. The application of Article 219, Paragraph 3, of the Land Act falls within the scope of the foregoing explanation and does not contravene the Constitution. The expropriated land that is the subject of the application for this Interpretation may not be redeemed by the original land owner by application according to this Interpretation if, before this Interpretation is promulgated, the land has been utilized and classified as a public asset inaccessible to private citizens, and its redemption by the owner will be severely detrimental to public interests. It is explained here that the original landowner may only claim compensation of an amount based on the expropriation price at the time of initial utilization of the land.

' Translated by Wei-Feng Huang of THY International Law Offices.
Opinion
(Files)
Chinese only
 

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