In Syria, the process of expropriating private real estate for the public sector is surrounded by a strict legal framework, making cancellation and return of the properties difficult — even if the so-called "public benefit" that authorised the expropriation in the first place is no longer applicable.
Analysis & Features
The past several years have seen Syrian regime forces recapture pocket after pocket of former opposition-held territory, usually by besieging and bombing those areas in an all-out blitzkrieg — an intense military campaign intended to bring about a swift victory — to force rebels to surrender. Afterwards, most residents are displaced, leaving behind vast city blocks of homes and businesses damaged by the fighting. Some areas are little more than rubble. ِAnd now, how is the Syrian government ensuring that those bussed out from former rebel-held districts don’t return?
The Syrian constitution considers private property to be a right and that it cannot be confiscated except through an expropriation law that derives its legitimacy from the concept of "the public benefit." But who determines public benefit? And what happens when properties are expropriated, and public benefit is not achieved?