The land dispute resolution index assesses the legal framework for immovable property registration and the accessibility of dispute resolution mechanisms. The index has eight components:
- Whether the law requires that all property sale transactions be registered at the immovable property registry to make them opposable to third parties. A score of 1.5 is assigned if yes; 0 if no.
- Whether the formal system of immovable property registration is subject to a guarantee. A score of 0.5 is assigned if either a state or private guarantee over immovable property registration is required by law; 0 if no such guarantee is required.
- Whether there is a specific compensation mechanism to cover for losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on erroneous information certified by the immovable property registry. A score of 0.5 is assigned if yes; 0 if no.
- Whether the legal system requires verification of the legal validity of the documents necessary for a property transaction. A score of 0.5 is assigned if there is a review of legal validity, either by the registrar or by a professional (such as a notary or a lawyer); 0 if there is no review.
- Whether the legal system requires verification of the identity of the parties to a property transaction. A score of 0.5 is assigned if there is verification of identity, either by the registrar or by a professional (such as a notary or a lawyer); 0 if there is no verification.
- Whether there is a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents. A score of 1 is assigned if such a national database is available; 0 if not.
- How much time it takes to obtain a decision from a court of first instance (without an appeal) in a standard land dispute between two local businesses over tenure rights worth 50 times income per capita and located in the largest business city. A score of 3 is assigned if it takes less than one year; 2 if it takes between one and two years; 1 if it takes between two and three years; 0 if it takes more than three years.
- Whether there are publicly available statistics on the number of land disputes in the first instance. A score of 0.5 is assigned if statistics are published about land disputes in the economy in the past calendar year; 0 if no such statistics are made publicly available.
The index ranges from 0 to 8, with higher values indicating greater protection against land disputes.
In Lithuania, for example, according to the Civil Code and the Law on the Real Property Register, property transactions must be registered at the land registry to make them opposable to third parties (a score of 1.5). The property transfer system is guaranteed by the state (a score of 0.5) and has a compensation mechanism to cover losses incurred by parties who engaged in good faith in a property transaction based on an error by the registry (a score of 0.5). A notary verifies the legal validity of the documents in a property transaction (a score of 0.5) and the identity of the parties (a score of 0.5), in accordance with the Law on the Notary Office (Law I-2882). Lithuania has a national database to verify the accuracy of identity documents (a score of 1). In a land dispute between two Lithuanian companies over the tenure rights of a property worth $770,000, the Vilnius District Court gives a decision in less than one year (a score of 3). Finally, statistics about land disputes are collected and published; there were a total of 549 land disputes in the country in 2016 (a score of 0.5). Adding these numbers gives Lithuania a score of 8 on the land dispute resolution index.