Private Takings of Land for Urban Redevelopment: A Tale of Two Cities

38 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2020 Last revised: 1 Mar 2022

See all articles by Kelvin F.K. Low

Kelvin F.K. Low

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law

Wai Yee Wan

City University of Hong Kong; City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - Centre for Chinese & Comparative Law

Alwin Chan

University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 30, 2019

Abstract

In 1999, both Hong Kong and Singapore brought into force legislation that permitted a supermajority of apartment owners within a building development that met certain statutory criterion to force a minority of dissents to sell the development as a whole. Both territories did so because, as land scarce cities, it was considered that the redevelopment of aging buildings was an urgent imperative. In so doing, although they claimed to be following other jurisdictions, both Hong Kong and Singapore broke new ground in pioneering the private takings of land among common law jurisdictions. These developments have proven controversial in both territories although the controversies have differed because of differences in implementation and historical background in both cities, despite their sharing a past as British colonies in Asia. This paper compares the two regimes against each other as well as against the more mature regime permitting private takings of shares in mergers and acquisitions law to highlight the lessons to be learnt in order to prevent abuse.

Keywords: private takings, en-bloc sales, collective sales, mergers & acquisitions, urban redevelopment, minority protection, Singapore, Hong Kong

JEL Classification: K

Suggested Citation

Low, Kelvin F.K. and Wan, Wai Yee and Chan, Alwin, Private Takings of Land for Urban Redevelopment: A Tale of Two Cities (May 30, 2019). (2021) 69(2) American Journal of Comparative Law 295-334, City University of Hong Kong Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law Research Paper Series Paper No. 2020/007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3507887

Kelvin F.K. Low (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Faculty of Law ( email )

469G Bukit Timah Road
Eu Tong Sen Building
Singapore, 259776
Singapore

Wai Yee Wan

City University of Hong Kong ( email )

83 Tat Chee Avenue
Kowloon
Hong Kong

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - Centre for Chinese & Comparative Law ( email )

83 Tat Chee Avenue
Room P5300, 5th Floor, Academic 1
Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong

Alwin Chan

University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK
China

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