Greater Protection Sought for “Legal” Owners and Other Occupiers of Land

March 23, 2015 – Castries, St Lucia Therold Prudent, has called upon the government to reevaluate The Land Registration Act (No. 12 Noting that the poor and vulnerable have always received the short end of the stick regarding matters related to land disputes which culminate in court-mandated evictions, the leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM), of 1984), which requires greater scrutiny of the sale and registration of lands.

These concerns have come to the fore in recent years after two eviction notices from the courts, resulted in the demolition of homes in the constituency of Gros Islet. The LPM leader noted that in one such instance, the occupant of the land was in possession of a “legal” title with supporting receipts documenting the sale.

Land in St. LuciaHowever, Prudent states, years after the new titleholder had constructed a home on the piece of land which she thought belonged to her, the court sided with a new claimant who was able to successfully argue that the original seller had not actually owned the land, and had therefore, had no right to authorise its sale.

The LPM leader argues that while he has no qualms with the court’s decision to deliver justice to the new claimant in regard to the recovery of his land, he is deeply troubled by the court’s decision to not render a judgment that would require full compensation to be made to the “legal” buyer who, through no fault of her own, had become the victim of a land sale which may not have received adequate vetting from the Land Registration Department.

Prudent also points to the future plight of hundreds of other poor people around the country who are legal occupants of disputed lands. “I am referring to average Saint Lucian citizens who faithfully pay rent to their current landowners but who may well find themselves displaced by a court-mandated order which implicitly gives the land to a different owner. It is imperative for our nation to clean up this jumbled mess of land ownership, because this is the only way Saint Lucia will begin to set the national priorities straight.”

There will be a press conference on March 23, 2015 on the topic of: Land ownership in St. Lucia and the plight of St. Lucia’s poor at the LPM Headquarters, Gros Islet

Tel: +1 (929) 268 0598 or (758) 715 – 8506

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