CHAPTER 12. LAND
73. LAND BELONGS TO CUSTOM OWNERS
All land in the Republic of Vanuatu belongs to the indigenous custom owners and their descendants.
74. BASIS OF OWNERSHIP AND USE
The rules of custom shall form the basis of ownership and use of land in the Republic of Vanuatu.
75. PERPETUAL OWNERSHIP
Only indigenous citizens of the Republic of Vanuatu who have acquired their land in accordance with a recognised system of land tenure shall have perpetual ownership of their land.
76. NATIONAL LAND LAW
Parliament, after consultation with the Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs, shall provide for the implementation of Articles 73, 74 and 75 in a national land law and may make different provision for different categories of land, one of which shall be urban land.
Parliament shall prescribe such criteria for the assessment of compensation and the manner of its payment as it deems appropriate to persons whose interests are adversely affected by legislation under this Chapter.
78. CUSTOMARY INSTITUTIONS TO RESOLVE LAND OWNERSHIP AND DISPUTES
- Parliament by enactment shall formalise the recognition of appropriate customary institutions or procedures to resolve land ownership or any disputes over custom land.
- Parliament may recognise an institution as a customary institution by enactment for the purposes of subarticle (1).
- Despite the provisions of Chapter 8 of the Constitution, the final substantive decisions reached by customary institutions or procedures in accordance with Article 74, after being recorded in writing, are binding in law and are not subject to appeal or any other form of review by any Court of law.
- Subarticle (3) does not apply to any matter being referred to a Court before the commencement of this amendment.
- Where consequent to the provisions of this Chapter there is a dispute concerning the custom ownership of land the government may hold such land and manage it in the interests of disputing parties until the dispute is resolved.
79. LAND TRANSACTIONS
- Notwithstanding Articles 73, 74 and 75 land transactions between an indigenous citizen and either a non-indigenous citizen or a non-citizen shall only be permitted with the consent of the Government.
- The consent required under subarticle (1) shall be given unless the transaction is prejudicial to the interests of-
- the custom owner or owners of the land;
- the indigenous citizen where he is not the custom owner;
- the community in whose locality the land is situated; or
- the Republic of Vanuatu.
80. GOVERNMENT MAY OWN LAND
Notwithstanding Articles 73 and 74 the Government may own land acquired by it in the public interest.
81. REDISTRIBUTION OF LAND
- Notwithstanding Articles 73 and 74 the Government may buy land from custom owners for the purpose of transferring ownership of it to indigenous citizens or indigenous communities from over-populated islands.
- When redistributing land in accordance with subarticle (1), the Government shall give priority to ethnic, linguistic, customary and geographical ties.
CHAPTER 13. DECENTRALISATION
82. LEGISLATION FOR DECENTRALISATION
The Republic of Vanuatu, conscious of the importance of decentralisation to enable the people fully to participate in the government of their Provincial Government Region, shall enact legislation necessary to realize that ideal.
83. PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT COUNCILS
The legislation shall provide for the division of the Republic of Vanuatu into Provincial Government Regions and for each region to be administered by a Provincial Government Council on which shall be representatives of custom chiefs.
CHAPTER 14. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
84. BILLS FOR AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
A bill for an amendment of the Constitution may be introduced either by the Prime Minister or any other member of Parliament.
85. PROCEDURE FOR PASSING CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
A bill for an amendment of the Constitution shall not come into effect unless it is supported by the votes of no less than two-thirds of all the members of Parliament at a special sitting of Parliament at which three-quarters of the members are present. If there is no such quorum at the first sitting, Parliament may meet and make a decision by the same majority a week later even if only two-thirds of the members are present.
86. AMENDMENTS REQUIRING SUPPORT OF REFERENDUMS
A bill for an amendment of a provision of the Constitution regarding the status of Bislama, English and French, the electoral system, or the parliamentary system, passed by Parliament under Article 85, shall not come into effect unless it has been supported in a national referendum.