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  • Interpretation
  • No.513
  • Date
  • 2000/09/29
  • Issue
    • Is it legal for governments to expropriate privately owned land not designated for public facilities in an urban plan without changing the urban plan first?
  • Holding
    •        The legislative purpose of the Urban Planning Law is to improve people’s living environment and to help coordinate developments in cities, towns and villages by planning. An urban plan, once publicly declared and finalized, has immediate binding force. Unless exceptions are set forth by law, governments of all levels should use or expropriate land without conflicting with such plan. For the necessity of enhancing public interests, governments may expropriate land within the urban plan. However, governments should strictly comply with expropriation-related requirements, procedures and other rules of the Urban Planning Law, because expropriation directly affects the people’s property rights. The former part of Article 52 provides that, “Within the scope of an urban plan, governments of all levels may expropriate privately owned land or use publicly owned land, but the actions taken should not conflict with the concerned urban plan.” According to the spirit of this provision, whenever central or local governments, in order to construct public facilities, have to expropriate privately owned lands which are not designated for public facilities in the urban plan, they have to change the urban plan first and expropriate such lands later. It is against the law for governments to expropriate privately owned land without changing the urban plan first. The expropriations made pursuant to the Land Law, with no legal public notice or without abiding by the thirty-day requirement, have no legal effect of expropriation. If there is any inconsistency between the day of public notice in fact and the day stated in the notice, the day of public notice in law should be the day in fact, not the day stated in the notice. Therefore, the expropriation comes into effect after thirty days beginning with the day of public notice in fact.
  • Reasoning
    •        The legislative purpose of the Urban Planning Law is to improve people’s living environment and to help coordinate developments in cities, towns and villages by planning. An urban plan, once publicly declared and finalized, has immediate binding force. Unless exceptions are set forth by law, governments of all levels should use or expropriate land without conflicting with the plan. In order to enhance public interests, governments may expropriate land within the urban plan. However, governments should strictly comply with expropriation-related requirements, procedures and other rules of the Urban Planning Law, because expropriation directly affects the people’s property rights.
      
    •        The former part of Article 52 provides that, “Within the scope of an urban plan, governments of all levels may expropriate privately owned land or use publicly owned land, but the actions taken should not conflict with the concerned urban plan.” The purpose of this provision is to regulate land zoning and to facilitate construction and development via the plan. The usage of land is finalized once the plan has been publicly announced. Governments of all levels should elaborately review the necessity for constructing public facilities and avoid any possible disruption of the urban plan when they are making decisions on whether to expropriate privately owned land for constructing such facilities. Therefore, unless exceptions are set forth by law (See Article 4, Paragraph 2, of the Statute on Land Expropriation), whenever central or local governments, in order to construct public facilities, have to expropriate privately owned lands which are not designated for public facilities in the urban plan, they have to change the urban plan first and expropriate such lands later. It is against the law for governments to expropriate privately owned land without changing the urban plan first. This type of expropriation is a defective administrative act. How to remedy this defect, however, is not in question here. 
      
    •        The expropriations pursuant to the Land Law, with no legal public notice or without abiding by the thirty-day requirement, have no legal effect of expropriation. If there is any inconsistency between the day of public notice in fact and the day stated in the notice, the day of public notice in law should be the day in fact not the day stated in the notice. Therefore, the expropriation comes into effect after thirty days beginning with the day of public notice in fact.
      
    • *Translated by Professor Tze-Shiou Chien.
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