Divided co-ownership: pre-emptive right in the case of gifting a co-ownership share
Sunday, 28 July 2013 15:03

Pursuant to the resolution of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic dated 27 January 2011, case file no. III. ÚS 3688/10, the co-owners do not have a pre-emptive right in the case of transfer of a divided co-ownershipshare pursuant to a gift agreement. In this resolution, the Constitutional Court analysed, in terms of their compliance with the Constitution, the conclusions of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic stating that a co-owner only has a pre-emptive right in the case of the co-ownership share sale, not its gifting. The Constitutional Court found the Supreme Court´s decision compliant with the Constitution. The Supreme Court´s argumentation in its interpretation of Section 140 of the Civil Code is based on the grammar interpretation, i.e. on the meaning of the term "pre-emptive right" itself, as well as on the system structure of the Civil Code, where the pre-emptive right institute is cathegorised as an ancillary provision of a purchase contract (Section 602 and following of the Civil Code). The application of the pre-emptive right principles to a gift agreements, according to the Supreme Court, contrary to the substance of gifting, whereby the co-ownership share would be gifted to a person not intended by the donor to receive the gift, constituting in fact a forced transfer  free of charge. Thus this decision probably represents a final answer to the question discussed by experts for more than twenty years.

 
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