The renewed legacy of land disputes in Algeria (19th-21st centuries)

Ties to the earth
By Didier Guignard

As in many other countries, the current landowning dispute in Algeria has its roots in the colonial past. However, its constant renewal suggests massive and repeated infringements of land rights from the 19th to the early 21st century; the need for a significant portion of the population to still defend its rights (either inherited or more recently acquired); and an individual or collective capacity to claim these rights. Yet since the liberal shift of the 1980s-1990s and the recognition of deeds from the colonial period for Algerian citizens only, Algeria’s situation is unique in that disputes generally involve situations that arose after independence, while leveraging litigation expertise, individual and collective rights recognised under French domination.

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