Post-Conflict Property Restitution (2 vols)

The Approach in Kosovo and Lessons Learned for Future International Practice

The right of refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes and places of residence in their country or place of origin following a refugee crisis has evolved significantly as a human rights norm over the past decade. Not only have several commentators and UN human rights bodies stressed the need for international peace-keeping operations to address effectively issues of housing and property rights, the past decade has seen international peace-keeping operations recognize these issues as a central component of peace- building efforts, and as indispensable to the promotion of peace, prosperity and development in post-conflict settings. Legal mechanisms mandated to address property issues and disputes have been established in particular national contexts to assist refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their homes, and there has emerged an explicit right of refugees and IDPs to restoration of their property rights, or compensation where restoration is no longer feasible. This is in stark contrast to the treatment of displaced persons over past centuries, whereby the homes and lands of those displaced, who were not on the side of the victors or those who remained in power, were lost forever. The aim of this book is to provide a comprehensive overview of property restitution in post-conflict Kosovo. It commences with a consideration of the origins and evolution of the right to property restitution for refugees and internally displaced persons. It provides the reader with an outline of the situation in Kosovo prior to the 1999 armed conflict, the developments that led to the international property related intervention, and the subsequent establishment of the HPD/HPCC (the Housing and Property Directorate and its independent quasi judicial body the Housing and Property Claims Commission). The international property-related intervention is considered from a legal, institutional, operational and administrative perspective. It also provides a comprehensive outline of the jurisprudence of the Commission and concludes with an account of the lessons learned from the process over its six years of operations.
This is a two volume set.
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Biographical Note

Margaret Cordial BL is researcher and an advisor on human rights issues and reparations for victims of armed conflict, in particular restitution or property rights and compensation. She worked in Kosovo for four years with both the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (the OSCE). Since 2005 she has worked primarily on housing and property restitution issues focusing. She is presently the legal advisor to the Kosovo Property Claims Commission and is researching a PhD on the subject with the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Ireland.

Knut Rosandhaug is currently serving with the United Nations in Kosovo as the Executive Director of the Kosovo Property Agency (KPA). He received his Master in Law in 1996 from Norway. Prior to his position with the KPA, he was the Executive Director of the UNMIK Housing and Property Directorate (HPD); Regional Project Coordinator with the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe; Head of Operations with the HPD; Legal Officer for KFOR and SFOR; and Research Fellow in Law at the University of Bergen, Norway and Visiting Fellow at the United Nations University in Tokyo. He previously served in Norway with the Armed Forces and the banking sector.

Table of contents

Foreword; Preface; Authors Note; Acknowledgements; Executive Summary; Table Of Contents; Chapter 1: Post-Conflict Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons under International Law; Chapter 2: Housing and Property Restitution in Kosovo; Chapter 3: Establishment of Institutions Responsible for Conflict Related Property Restitution; Chapter 4: Category and Nature of Claims and Claim Intake; Chapter 5: Claims Processing; Chapter 6: The Decision Making Process; Chapter 7: The Service and Implementation of Decisions; Chapter 8: Reconsideration Requests; Chapter 9: Closure of Claim Files and Establishment of Kosovo Property Agency; Chapter 10: Jurisprucence of The Housing and Property Claims Commission; Chapter 11: Restitution and Compensation – Limits of Hpcc Jurisdiction; Chapter 12: Administration, Funding, Institutional Structure and Information Technology; Chapter 13: Essential Features of the Hpd/Hpcc Process and Overall Contribution to Peace Building; Chapter 14: Lessons Learned and Concluding Note; Annex I: Members of the Housing and Property Claims Commission; Annex II: UNMIK Regulations 1999/23 and 2000/60; Annex III: Additional Rules of the Housing and Property Claims Commission;
Annex IV: Decisions of the Housing and Property Claims Commission; Annex V: Executive Directors of the Housing and Property Directorate.

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