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Alternative title:

Perpetual usufruct as an instrument for strengthening socialist state property and contemporary legal effects in property law

Subject and Keywords:

socialism   communism   perpetual usufruct   development right   ownership divided into periods   property law in the People’s Republic of Poland


The first part of this study presents historical reasons for introducing perpetual usufruct by the Management of Urban Areas Act 1961 and the Civil Code 1964. It begins with the general analysis that focuses on the changes of laws from the initial introducing development right and perpetual lease to ownership divided into periods and then usufruct of the state residential property. The author explains the mechanism of influence of the factors arising from communist ideology (Marxism-Leninism) on the proposed legal solutions particularly attributing a prominent role to socialist state property in the People’s Republic of Poland. Next, the official version of the perpetual usufruct’s role is also presented. The perpetual usufruct was introduced as a new real right which was to be attractive for citizens and enabled the state to administer areas in towns and settlements in accordance with a legal town development plan. The aim of the study is the explanation of the real function of the perpetual usufruct of residential lands in towns. The construction of perpetual usufruct was a result of referring to models of Soviet law. It was an instrument which was to protect socialist state property as well as to counteract a depletion of the accumulated state lands through a transfer of those lands for private persons. The perpetual usufruct also was to enable the socialist state to control how urban land was used. The perpetual usufruct was a result of the ideological and political principles of the socialist system in the People’s Republic of Poland, particularly strengthening socialist state property of lands. The perpetual usufruct was really a semblance of ownership of land. This was indirectly explained in the resolutions of the Supreme Court of 1968 and 1969. Therefore, in our times there are difficult legal problems also connected with the issue of granting property rights to perpetual usufructuary. The legal proposals of replacing perpetual usufruct with different rights still haven’t been introduced. The last part of this study expresses in a concise way the contemporary legal acts which were aimed at reducing the accumulation of lands which were let on a perpetual usufruct. Nevertheless, these acts weren’t always effective. The Act of 2018 on Transformation Perpetual Usufruct of Built-up Residential Lands into Ownership of those Lands is the last legal act concerning the discussed issues. In principle this act introduced the enfranchisement in accordance with the law for every perpetual usufructuary of built-up residential land. However, it didn’t eliminate the perpetual usufruct in Polish property law. The analysis in this paper proposes the thesis that the perpetual usufruct of residential lands (on a large scale) was never justified in an economy, but was only determined by ideological and political reasons in the People’s Republic of Poland.

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ISSN 2300-7249   ISSN 0239-6661




PAd P 101182 II



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