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Bona fides (Good Faith) in praescriptio acquisitiva and Adverse Possession – A Contribution to the Discourse on the Interrelationship Between Canon Law and Croatian Law

Henrik-Riko Held orcid id ; Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 357 Kb

str. 755-781

preuzimanja: 336



The author analyses bona fides, or possession in good faith, as a prerequisite of the canonical praescriptio acquisitiva and the adverse possession as set forth in contemporary Croatian law in their interrelationship. The problem stems from the fact that the Treaty between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia on legal matters, being an international treaty and thus having precedence over Croatian laws according to the Croatian constitution, in certain circumstances allows for a direct application of canon law within the Croatian legal system. The aim of this paper is to analyse whether this also applies to bona fides in adverse possession, and if so, in which way exactly. The canonical praescriptio in the context of the Roman legal tradition is analysed first in order to clarify certain terminological and conceptual discrepancies between canon law and Croatian law in this field. Bona fides regarding usucapio and praescriptio of Roman law and the Roman legal tradition is then particularly addressed. The central part of the paper deals with canonical bona fides, where it is specifically noted that it is a stricter standard in comparison to good faith as found in Croatian law. Canon law requires positive good faith throughout the whole required prescription period, meaning knowledge or a reasonable possibility of knowledge of having a right to possess, not infringing the right of another thereby. On the other hand, Croatian law requires knowledge or possibility of knowledge at the outset, while later on only acquired knowledge will render possession illicit. In addition, the Croatian standard of good faith is conceived more simply in comparison to the twofold canonical standard, i.e. only as the absence of knowledge or possibility of knowledge of not having a right to possess. Although both systems presume good faith, those differences may prove crucial if an interested party (owner of property being prescribed) offers evidence to the contrary. Finally, our analysis of the Treaty between the Holy See and the Republic of Croatia on legal matters revealed that the canonical standard of bona fides should be applied whenever a juridical person of the Catholic Church in Croatia acquires property by means of adverse possession, but by all accounts also when any other person acquires Church property in the same way.

Ključne riječi

bona fides, good faith, praescriptio, adverse possession, canon law

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

Posjeta: 842 *