FIG Peer Review Journal


Assessing Land Administration Systems and their Legal Frameworks: A Constitutional Focus (11295)

Kehinde Babalola, Simon Hull and Jennifer Whittal (South Africa)
Mr Kehinde Babalola
PhD Student
University of Cape Town
Cape Town
South Africa
Corresponding author Mr Kehinde Babalola (email: bblkeh001[at], tel.: +27670679642)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2022-05-16
Received 2022-01-07 / Accepted 2022-04-22
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Congress 2022 in Warsaw, Poland in Warsaw, Poland and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Congress 2022 in Warsaw, Poland
ISBN n/a ISSN 2308-3441


Constitutions should provide a legal basis for addressing a country’s land administration system (LAS) and legal reform. Considering this vital role, a country’s constitution should be evaluated to ensure that it supports, in principle, LAS and law reforms that include pro-poor objectives. In recent years, several land administration assessment frameworks have been developed, yet none give attention to the associated legal framework of LAS reform from a constitutional perspective. It is now commonly recognised that a LAS that is significant for all people in a developing country should include pro-poor approaches. A context-specific framework to evaluate a LAS and its legal framework, specifically the relevant constitution, is lacking. The study addresses this gap in developing a conceptual framework to support the holistic evaluation of a country’s constitution in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The framework development involves secondary data (constitution, land laws, land policy, legislation, and published journal articles) collated and assessed using a sampling logic method. Three key areas of a constitution emerged as important to the delivery of pro-poor LAS: human rights, rule of law, and legal pluralism. The impact of a constitution and potential areas of improvement may be revealed with the application of the conceptual framework. This study is aimed at LAS and the reform of its legal framework from a constitutional perspective. Because the practice of African customary law is principally in rural and peri-urban areas, it is aimed at achieving the significance of the LAS for peri-urban and rural land rights holders. The study is significant for policymakers, professionals, and academics engaged in the reform of the LAS and its legal framework in a developing country SSA context.
Keywords: Capacity building; Cadastre; Land management; Security of tenure; Access to land; Legislation; land administration system (LAS); legal framework; legal pluralism; Constitution; land policy; customary law; social justice