Issues with Eminent Domain in the Holy See Essay

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A. Eminent Domain is defined as “the power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property” (Farlex, par. 1). Eminent domain has a long and distinguished legal history, dating back to the Magna Carta. The term “eminent domain” was coined by Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), a Dutch jurist and philosophe, to describe the power of the state over natural property (Dalton, par. 3). This legal process has been used in many nations ostensibly for the “greater good.” Recently, Russia has come onto the world stage as abusing the power of eminent domain in preparation for the 2014 …show more content…

C. The Holy See recognizes the responsibility placed on governments to protect their citizens and provide for the general welfare. However, the Holy See also recognizes that governments have been known to abuse this power in the past. To help curb this issue, the Holy See recommends that a council be formed for the sole purpose of hearing eminent domain abuse questions and working with governments to resolve such cases. This provides a forum for the public to approach an unbiased group to ask for help, and allows the government to settle land disputes without worrying about the possibility of civil unrest, as seen in recent cases. This group would be made up of any and all nations that wish to partake, with all nations being equal in voting rights. The meetings would be chaired by an elected representative serving a three year term. This committee would give non-binding recommendations to the governments of the nations in an effort to settle issues quickly and equitably. The Holy See also recommends the creation of a set of guidelines, coupled with an education campaign, for nations to follow in cases where eminent domain is to be exercised. These guidelines shall cover: Compensation, to help define what is appropriate for the affected region; Guidelines for actions expected of a state to provide for the overall welfare of

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