Compensation in the Context of Unlawful Expropriations - Chapter 9 - Investment Treaty Arbitration and International Law Volume 9
Rafael Cox Alomar is an assistant professor of law at the David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia in Washington D.C. B.A. (magna cum laude) Cornell University; D.Phil. (Marshall Scholar) University of Oxford; J.D. Harvard Law School.
Compensation in the Context of Unlawful Expropriations
Rafael Cox Alomar
The proposition that the sovereign is endowed with inherent authority to take or expropriate private property for “public uses, when public necessity or utility require it,” on the basis of equitable indemnification to the aggrieved private stakeholder, has been at the core of Western legal thought since time immemorial. The historical record shows, for instance, the existence in ancient Greece of “legislation for the valuation of noncitizens’ property that might be wanted to build temples,” and the “laying of drains in private fields in Euboea with payment to the landowner.” The learned Justinian, author of the Corpus Iuris Civilis, appears to have believed that “land could be taken from churches for the public good (ad reipúblicae utilitatem), provided that equal or greater property was given in exchange.”