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Webinar | Building land tenure systems: The political, legal, and institutional struggles of Timor-Leste | Bernardo Almeida

18/02/2021 @ 15:30 - 17:00


Land tenure issues in Timor-Leste are complex and deeply shaped by the nation’s history. In this presentation Bernardo Almeida will summarize the main findings of his PhD thesis where he, taking an insider’s perspective, studies the development of the Timorese formal land tenure system from independence in 2002 to 2018. Bernardo will show how political, legal, and administrative decisions on land administration are made, what and who influences them, which problems and dilemmas politicians and state officials face, and how the formal land tenure system works in practice. This findings are based on the investigation of five analytical themes: political environment, lawmaking, legal framework, institutional framework, and social relationships and practices. The result is a portrait of a young nation grappling with the enormous task of creating a land tenure system that can address the needs of its citizens in the wake of centuries of socio-political tumult and huge fluctuations in resources, while seeking to find its place on the world stage as a new nation.


Bernardo Almeida is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at the Van Vollenhoven Institute, Leiden University, who focuses on land, law, lawmaking and development. Bernardo has a background in law, and started his professional career as a lawyer in Portugal. He then moved to Timor-Leste in 2009, first as a property rights lecturer at the National University, and later as a Ministry of Justice legal advisor for the land sector, responsible for legal drafting and analysis (2010-2014). Between 2015 and 2020 Bernardo wrote his PhD thesis at the Van Vollenhoven Institute, while working as an academic researcher, lecturer, consultant and trainer on projects in Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Angola, and Laos.


Ward Berenschot (KITLV)
Santi Kouwagam (VVI, Leiden University)


Registration is required. Please register if you wish to join this webinar by sending an email to: [email protected]. You will receive an invitation to participate in a Zoom meeting by email.

Live stream on Facebook

This webinar will be streamed on the public KITLV Facebook page. It is possible to watch the discussion afterwards on our facebook page.


Ministry of Finance -@ Bernardo Almeida


15:30 - 17:00
Event Category:




Online event