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Nine-Tenths of the Law – Enduring Dispossession in Indonesia - Yale Scholarship Online
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Nine-Tenths of the Law: Enduring Dispossession in Indonesia

Christian Lund


The old aphorism “possession is nine-tenths of the law” is particularly relevant in Indonesia, which has seen a string of regime changes and a shifting legal landscape for property claims. Ordinary people struggle to legalize their possessions and claim rights in competition with different branches of government, as well as police, army, and private gangs. Some people acquire land, but more seem to lose it when their lack of wealth, knowledge, language, connections, and organization leaves them vulnerable. Possession may be nine-tenths of the law, but the last tenth, recognition, still matters ... More

Keywords: possession, legalization, Indonesia, dispossession, property claims, property, property rights

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780300251074
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300251074.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christian Lund, author
University of Copenhagen