Discussion Forum on Czech Church Restitutions on November 28, 2018
On 28 November 2018 a discussion forum took place on Czech Church Restitutions after six years of practie at the Hospital of the Merciful nurses Sts. Karel Boromejský in Prague. Its summary was published on media partner website, the Czech Justice. Presentations that have been presented can be downloaded from the links below. The State Land Office's presentation includes, among other things, up-to-date information of ongoing or newly opened Czech proceedings on church restitution, success and overall statistics of religious restitutions. In the context of the discussion and conclusions on the interpretation of the law on property settlement with churches and religious societies, it must be emphasized that from the point of view of real estate developers and investors there is still a need to pay attention to historical ownership titles if the original owner of real estate were religious legal entities and their possible transfers were made prior to the adoption of the Czech Church Restitution Act as they could be considered invalid as a result of a conflict with the blocking provisions of special restitution laws.
Taxation of Czech Church Restitutions and the constitutionality of this intention
In view of the fact that the originally anticipated duration of the event due to the discussions and the new contributions was extended by more than one and a half hours, it is possible to view the contribution of JUDr. PhDr. Stanislav Balík, Ph.D., attorney-at-law, emeritus judge of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic and former President of the Czech Bar Association, on the topic of unconstitutionality of the possible taxation of compensation paid in the context of church restitutions, on the following link:
State Land Office - 6 Years of Church Restitutions from SPU View Discussion Forum 28.11.2018
Ing. Anna De Pin, Head of Restitution Department of the State Land Office
Mgr. Ilona Landová, Expert Council Department of Restitution of the State Land Office
Religious Restitution versus Privatization of Fishery Třeboň
Ing. Magdalena Herdová, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Fisheries Třeboň Hld. a.s.
Mgr. Barus - 6 years restitution - work of archivist 28.11.2018
Mgr. Martin Barus, archivist of the Bishopric of Litoměřice
• Unlike immovable property, there is no state-guaranteed evidence in the case of movable property restitution (Martin Barus, archivist of the Bishopric of Litoměřice)
• The archives are still the best place to keep documents on the restitution claims of the churches (Martin Barus, archivist of the Bishopric of Litoměřice)
• The parliamentary intention to tax compensation paid to churches and religious societies is unconstitutional (Stanislav Balík, a lawyer and a former constitutional judge)
• such refunds can not be taxed either because they have already been provided to churches and religious societies, and nothing changes the fact that the state has paid them into installments (Jakub Kříž, lawyer and co-author of commentary on the law on property settlement with churches and religious societies)
• while a garden or cottage colony is located on the land affected by the restitution claim there is no reason for extradition, according to another restitution rule (typically according to the Land Act), on the other hand in the case of restitution according to the Act on Property Compensation with Churches and Religious Societies, there is no reason for not to extradition (Anna De Pin, State Land Office)
• The State Land Office acts in a dual role: once as a liable person and secondly as an administrative body deciding on restitutions. These are the consequences of the merger of the former Land Fund (which was the obligated person) with the structure of land offices (administrative authorities) into one State Land Office. However, this solution is not happy and raises doubts about the impartiality of the State Land Office (Miroslav Popelář, lawyer specializing in restitution disputes, Jakub Kříž, lawyer and co-author of commentaries on the law on property settlement with churches and religious societies)
• The privatization laws of the 1990s explicitly prohibited the privatization of the original church property (Jakub Kříž, lawyer and co-author of the commentaries on the law on property settlement with churches and religious societies)
• The State Land Registry (SLR) does not observe the statutory time limits for concluding agreements on the extradition of the original ecclesiastical property to the authorized persons (when the SLR acts as the liable person) or the time limits for administrative decisions (when the SPU acts as an administrative body) (David Kučerka , theologian, lawyer, tax advisor, head of the legal department of the property of the Knights of the Cross with the Red Star)
• as contradictory in accordance with the purpose of the Czech Act on Property Settlement with Churches and Religious Societies, it appears that the original ecclesiastical property that has been transferred from the State to a third person and which was in contrary to the blocking sections of special laws, remained to the state even after the church or religious company even claims that the transfer is invalid and the property will return to the state, but the church will no longer succeed in the state's claim for restitution. The retention of this property by the state only causes new injustices to third parties (Jakub Kříž, lawyer and co-author of the commentary on the law on property settlement with churches and religious societies, Magdalena Herdová, vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of Třeboň Hld a.s., Michaela Šerá, a lawyer specializing in restitution disputes)
• The distinction between the law on property settlement with churches and religious societies to restitution of the original ecclesiastical property of agricultural and non-agricultural is non-systemic and in practice affects application problems (Jakub Kříž, lawyer and co-author of commentary on the law on property settlement with churches and religious societies)
• Beneš's decrees as one of the exclusions from the restitution of the original ecclesiastical property are non-systemic. Indeed, if these decrees on the original ecclesiastical property actually occurred, then this property became property of the state before February 25, 1948 and is therefore excluded from the restitution (Jakub Kříž, lawyer and co-author of comments on the law on property settlement with churches and religious companies)
• there is no need to argue or prove urgent legal interest in bringing an declaratory action pursuant to the Act on Settlement of Property with Churches and Religious Societies (Tomáš Nahodil, lawyer, specialist in constitutional and administrative law)
• the right to bring this action is time-barred by a general three-year limitation period, which began on the day of the effective date of Section 18 paragraph 1 of Act on Settlement with Churches, ie January 1, 2013 (Jakub Kříž, lawyer and co-author of commentary on the property law settlement with churches and religious societies)
• by declaratory action in accordance with the Act on property settlement with churches and religious societies can not be claimed for the restitution of the original church property which acquired provinces from the state before the promulgation of this act on property settlement with churches and religious societies (Tomáš Nahodil, lawyer, specialist in constitutional and administrative law)
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