The acquisition of land for infrastructure and construction projects in Asia

Bruno Zeller, Robert Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infrastructure and construction projects are a fundamental element of any state’s
economy: they provide jobs and growth. However, for many of the larger
infrastructure and construction projects that are undertaken they require
governments to acquire land from individuals and entities. The danger from land
grab[ing] has become shorthand for a growing assessment and critique of economic
and political policies that advocate for the privatisation of land and resources in
the name of economic growth, job creation and food security. Furthermore, in
many states forcible land grabs have not been abandoned. Forcible land grabs in
India, Indonesia and Nepal in particular have demonstrated that not only protracted
legal issues emanate from the land acquisition but also political unrest. This is
something that Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and entities operating in these
countries need to be aware of. This article briefly highlights the challenges facing
the states of India and Indonesia when acquiring land for infrastructure and
construction projects. It will also address the important policy element of acquiring
land under the principal of public interest. Importantly, it highlights that the method
of land acquisition impacts the infrastructure projects and hence the profitability
and reputation of companies. This article is the first of a larger study across Asia
to assist Australian and United Kingdom entities involved in infrastructure and
construction projects-contracts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-359
JournalConstruction Law Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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