Are We Alone?
The concept of eminent domain is not unique to the United States. Other countries also allow themselves the privilege of acquiring private land for public use. In the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland, it is called compulsory purchase. In Australia it is resumption/compulsory acquisition and in South Africa and Canada, it is known as expropriation. Eminent domain has been used for many public projects. The highways that we drive on every day were most likely created through eminent domain. These highways were built at the cost of the residences that once stood on that land. Families had to be relocated in order to provide this convenience. Depending on the country that you live in, eminent domain is applied differently and the government enforces it in different ways. Japan, for example, has very weak eminent domain control. Residents are given a low amount of financial compensation that is more like a “bribe” in return for their agreement to leave. There are countries, such as the People's Republic of China, that practice eminent domain that makes space for new communities and government structures, sacrificing the greater interest of the people just like the United States. In Singapore, the Land Acquisitions Act uses eminent domain in a form of majoritism. If the majority of the owners of a property want to sell, all others are forced to sell as well.