Keywords : UAE Law

The idea of expropriation for public benefit (Analytical Study in UAE Law) (Mstal)

Salh.A. Alhuby; Ibrahim.A. Ibrahim

Journal of college of Law for Legal and Political Sciences, 2019, Volume 8, Issue issue 28 part 2, Pages 269-307

Property Right, a right protected under most constitutions of the various nations of the world today, is at times undermined. Owing to the continuous increase in population, urban development and expansion became a necessity. This called for improving infrastructure and establishing schools, hospitals etc. at the expense of private property, a matter that obliges the State to resort to expropriating private property for serving the public interest. Despite the fact that the legislator stipulated that expropriation must serve the public interest, we cannot find any comprehensive definition for Public Interest. This is because weighing public interest is dependent on the discretionary power of the competent authority. The notion evolved over the years, and many theories have been developed to justify the expropriation of private property for the public to accept it. Nowadays, in most Arab countries e.g. the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and Morocco, applicable laws stipulate that property may not be expropriated unless this measure serves the public interest, and providing that fair compensation be given to the private property owner in return. The role of the judiciary is limited to estimating the extent to which an administrative decision to this end serves the public interest. The concept of expropriating private property to serve the public interest has a lot in common with many regulations, which aim to seize real estate, whether temporarily, for nationalization, under no justification or by force. However, they may be different in terms of site i.e. applies to moveable property, and objective i.e. to realize a personal benefit. Legislation gave the competent authority the power to expropriate private property to serve the public interest. However, competent authorities must not abuse the powers vested in them. Such abuse takes the form of exploiting the expropriation of property, whether to achieve personal interests or financial gain, or pay off old scores. Still, it must be noted that decisions made by the competent authority may be appealed before the judiciary, which role is limited to estimating the extent to which an administrative decision serves the public interest.Some legislation restricted the power of the competent authority in expropriating private property even if such expropriation is intended to serve the public interest. This applies to religious buildings, public buildings or military buildings.