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The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution Hardcover – 5 Apr 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415579600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415579605
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 16.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Anneke Smit is Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, Canada


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Taylor TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
Length: 3:53 Mins


DO REFUGEES HAVE THAT RIGHT?

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

To say that this book is a formidable work of research is a colossal understatement. For starters, the book contains a bibliography of no less than 38 pages. It attests to the mind-boggling amount of papers, books and learned journals the author, Anneke Smit, has had to examine over the course of a decade in order to produce her scholarly, thorough and carefully argued thesis on the thorny, distressing and virtually intractable problems faced by refugees the world over, particularly with regard to property rights.

An assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, Canada, Smit has also apparently spent some time in the areas under discussion in the book, including, notably, Georgia/South Ossetia and Kosovo.

Fundamentally, the right to `return home' to your own property after you and your family have been forcibly evicted as the result of war, or political conflict - has been upheld (at least in theory) by the world community, as exemplified in the 2005 United Nations Principle on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons.

But, as Smit points out, initiatives like these have been largely ineffectual. Indeed, she asserts that 'this focus on return and restitution of property has come at the expense of supporting effectively local integration and resettlement as possible durable solutions.' She therefore explores the alternatives which, in a number of instances, might be preferable, including settlement and integration into a new community, or country.

It's perhaps unsurprising that this extensive research originated in Canada.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Restitution of property.... 22 July 2012
By Phillip Taylor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover


DO REFUGEES HAVE THAT RIGHT?

An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

To say that this book is a formidable work of research is a colossal understatement. For starters, the book contains a bibliography of no less than 38 pages. It attests to the mind-boggling amount of papers, books and learned journals the author, Anneke Smit, has had to examine over the course of a decade in order to produce her scholarly, thorough and carefully argued thesis on the thorny, distressing and virtually intractable problems faced by refugees the world over, particularly with regard to property rights.

An assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, Canada, Smit has also apparently spent some time in the areas under discussion in the book, including, notably, Georgia/South Ossetia and Kosovo.

Fundamentally, the right to `return home' to your own property after you and your family have been forcibly evicted as the result of war, or political conflict - has been upheld (at least in theory) by the world community, as exemplified in the 2005 United Nations Principle on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons.

But, as Smit points out, initiatives like these have been largely ineffectual. Indeed, she asserts that 'this focus on return and restitution of property has come at the expense of supporting effectively local integration and resettlement as possible durable solutions.' She therefore explores the alternatives which, in a number of instances, might be preferable, including settlement and integration into a new community, or country.

It's perhaps unsurprising that this extensive research originated in Canada. And it's doubtful that there is any individual living anywhere in that country who does not know an individual, or family who originally settled there after fleeing in terror from somewhere else.

For example, after World War II, there were at least 3 million displaced persons, or refugees in Europe, many of whom were able to emigrate to North America, but as far as it is known, received no `restitution' for their seized property.

What the author accomplishes admirably in this book is to re-open the discussion and debate on this almost insoluble problem, focusing on the more recent experiences with post-conflict restitution and return. The situation in a wide range of countries is examined, including Israel/Palestine, Cyprus, Cambodia, Mozambique, Tajikistan, Rwanda, Guatemala, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Timor-Leste, Georgia/South Ossetia and Iraq.

Since the publication of this book, other refugee problems have, unfortunately, emerged, including the thousands of refugees who have poured into Turkey to escape massacre or incarceration under Syria's murderous regime.

Having been examined through the lens of practical experience, as well as academic research, the refugee problem overall has been analysed in this book with sympathy and rigour.

Legal practitioners and advisers, as well as those with academic interests in the rights of refugees -- or those who may be responsible for decision-making regarding those rights -- will certainly find this excellent book a helpful, if not an indispensible acquisition.
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