14 Jan 2015

French Polynesia gets land court

1:38 pm on 14 January 2015

The French justice ministry has approved the creation of a French Polynesian land court aimed at dealing with hundreds of pending disputes.

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Photo: RNZI Walter Zweifel

This was announced by the president of the territory's court of appeal who hailed the planned hiring of two judges as an exceptional move in view of budget constraints.

The court is to be set up late this year but is not expected to be operational before next year.

Hundreds of cases have been dealt with by the lower courts, with about 900 now before the court of appeal.

Its president says at times a case involves 150 concerned parties.

The Indigenous Customary Council has widely rejected the colonial land tenure system, saying land matters should be in the hands of indigenous people.

It says the 1880 treaty with France, which was meant to leave land matters untouched, has not been abrogated.

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