Communal title and Indigenous property rights as a challenge for Taiwan’s land title system: insights from the Australian experience

Yi-Shiuan Chen, Richard Howitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Inadequate and unresolved state responses to contemporary Indigenous land right claims in Taiwan reflect a deep flaw in the country’s current land registry. The land titling system, which was introduced by the KMT government after 1945, allows the registration of individual titles, but not communal, customary or collective titles, and effectively classifies all unregistered and untitled land as belonging to the state. The system is principally derived from Australia’s Torrens title system, for which the core element is an indefeasible title by registration. The adoption of the Torrens title system in Taiwan has allowed Indigenous claims only to be registered as individual titles. Therefore, tensions over the non-recognition of communal titles that are derived from Indigenous peoples’ ancestral domains or traditional territories are ongoing. In contrast, Australia has developed significant statutory and juridical experience that has resulted in the formal recognition of Indigenous peoples’ communal titles alongside continued operation of the Torrens title system. This paper discusses how this experience might inform and support future recognition of Indigenous land right claims and shared communal property interests in Taiwan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Geographical Research
Issue number66
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Bibliographical note

共同所有權與原住民財產權作為台灣土地產權系統的挑戰:來自澳洲經驗的見解

Keywords

  • Communal title
  • Torrens title
  • Native title
  • land registry
  • Indigenous property right

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