The state is vested with ultimate power over all national resources, including land, which it can appropriate, even from private hands. The rules for compulsory acquisition vary from country to country. In certain circumstances, there is very little or no protection of the interests of the landowner.
The compulsory acquisition of land, the right of eminent domain (also called expropriation, condemnation, or compulsory purchase) is an attribute which any sovereign government must have in order to carry out its function. Without the power to take property, governments might not be able to build roads, schools, parks, and other public improvements essential to the public well-being.
The eminent domain power exists in all countries. Although there is opposition to its exercise, it is neither confiscation nor an arbitrary treatment of individual property, but an inherent and long-standing prerogative of government. Whether it is equitable is determined not by its use per se but by the nature of the criteria governing public benefit and justness of compensation, by the reasonableness of the statute governing rights and duties, and by the exercise of official good faith in the proceedings.