Brooklyn Journal of International Law

First Page



In 2019, South Africa's Parliament considered a bill to amend the Constitution and expropriate land taken from black South Africans during Apartheid. The bill did not pass, despite a general consensus in the country that land reform is needed (Part I). Thus, lawmakers are challenged by exactly how to achieve equitable land reform for South Africa. This paper looks to the language of the proposed amendment and offers improvements alongside accepted U.S. legal frameworks (Part II). By comparing Just Compensation under the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution and South Africa's proposed expropriation amendment, this paper advocates for clear legislation that embraces binary directives (Part III). As South Africa pursues a more just future, land reform will resurface. Law makers would do well to take a more narrow and focused approach that safeguards private property rights while allowing for equitable redistribution of land.