For the following information as to the methods of expropriation of property in many foreign countries, the writer is indebted to the American ambassadors, ministers and consular representatives in the several countries.


Laws governing procedure for the condemnation of property in Cuba were made December 15, 1841, and in regulations of July 10, 1858, and the instructions of September 28, 1865. In the case of condemnation for railroads, there are special provisions governing the procedure in the railroad law known as Civil Order No. 34 of 1902.


Expropriation for public purposes is not made in Nicaragua without the indemnity provided by law. The Law of 1883, summarized, is as follows: That a competent person give his opinion as to suitability of property for the purpose required; if he favors it, it is declared of public utility. Appraisement and indemnity follow.


The laws of Roumania are copied after those of France. Briefly, no property may be expropriated except for public use and a commission must decide the questions. The property must be paid for in advance of actual expropriation.

Argentine Republic

As nearly as can be learned, Argentine Republic has made greater strides in law governing the expropriation of property than any other South American republic. No person can be deprived of his property except by reason of public utility, and upon a just indemnity, proper expropriation proceedings having been previously instituted. By "just indemnity" is understood the payment not only of the actual value of the property, but also of the direct damages caused by the expropriation. Whenever the nature of the expropriation is so necessary that it is not possible for proceedings of any kind, the public authority may, under its responsibility, dispose of the property immediately. Railroads receive merely the right of way, and, unlike railroads through Western States do not receive several miles of property on each side of the railroad along its entire length. This was contrary to our methods and did not appeal to American capital, with the result that South American railroads were almost entirely built by European capital, a portion of the same being deposited with the government and returned to the company so much per mile as the work progressed.


No condemnation laws are needed as all the titles -in China are vested in the Emperor who leases them to his subjects for terms deemed proper.

Costa Rica

When the government of Costa Rica needs or authorizes the expropriation of private property, it publishes a decree stating the fact and the public reasons therefor and names a date for the appointment of experts to fix the value of the property. On this date they meet, and, if they do not agree, appoint jointly a third expert. The majority decide the value due the property owner. The first two experts are appointed as usual, one representing the government, and the other the property owner or owners. The government pays the amount fixed and takes possession.