Resources for communities looking to challenge a coerced relocation agreement in court?

Hi community members -

I’m wondering if any groups out there have compiled any materials or resources for communities who are looking to prepare and frame a legal challenge to a coerced relocation agreement. I’m trying to help local lawyers in one of the countries where I work to outline a legal strategy, and it would be great not to reinvent the wheel when it comes to #land rights.

More specifically, I’m looking for guides to the sort of information that should be gathered (e.g related to the company’s rights to land under the concession agreement, circumstances under which the relocation agreement was concluded, adequacy of the terms of the agreement), questions about the applicable legal regime that should be asked (e.g. land law, compensation law, specific sectoral laws, legal principles related to contracts).

Thanks so much!

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Have you connected at all with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and their Open Land Contracts initiative? We are collaborating with them to produce some guides similar to this. They did a scoping of existing resources on this topic and collected a short list of recommended resources - I have attached the list here.CCSI Scoping of resources related to land contracts.docx (41.7 KB) @sam_szoke_burke @jessecoleman @KaitlinC

Namati does have some community-focused guides for negotiations with investors, but it sounds like you are looking for something more technical and legal.

@sonkitaconteh and the Namati Sierra Leone team also have experience working on legal cases involving concession agreements, specific to the Sierra Leone context.

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Thanks - this is really helpful!

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Hi @jgkaufman, we just released a more detailed version of the document that @marenabrinkhurst linked to back in July. Including info about it below in case of interest / relevance.

Community Guidance on Agreements Relating to Agriculture or Forestry Investments

While there are a number of existing resources that can assist communities and their advocates in their interactions with investors over land—from negotiating better agreements with investors, to monitoring whether investors fulfill the terms of their agreements—these resources are not always easy to find. CCSI has created a detailed Google document that lists relevant guides and other documents, provides links to the original documents, and includes brief descriptions of their content. This Google document is available here; it can be viewed online, downloaded, emailed, and printed.

This document was developed in the context of CCSI’s work on Addressing Legal Support Gaps around Land-Based Investment and in the course of a partnership with Namati to develop community-oriented resources to support communities’ interactions with investors.

CCSI will update this document periodically; if you know of additional materials that should be included, please email us at ccsi@law.columbia.edu.