Land disputes to be considered in a commercial court in Ukraine
Practicing lawyers are aware that there are certain problems in the Ukrainian judicial system with regard to the correct determination of jurisdiction in certain categories of litigation. Land disputes are no exception. Among them, there are those that are subject to the jurisdiction of commercial courts and those that are subject to consideration by administrative courts. The distinction is based on the private or public nature of the legal relationship in which the disputes arise.
The Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine in its Plenum Resolution No. 6 of 17.05.2011 provided clarification on the category of land disputes to be considered by economic courts.
The competence of commercial courts includes, in particular:
- land disputes concerning the protection of a person's rights to a land plot;
- disputes on the acquisition, exercise and termination of the rights of entrepreneurs, organizations, local governments, and the state to a land plot;
- disputes regarding the invalidation of decisions, actions or omissions of state and municipal authorities regarding the privatization of a land plot or its lease, termination of ownership or seizure of a land plot;
- land disputes concerning the acquisition, modification and termination of superficies or emphyteusis;
- disputes regarding the termination, modification or establishment of easements;
- returning a land plot that was occupied without permission;
- land disputes, the subject of which is the removal of obstacles to the use of a land plot (negative claim);
- recovery of damages caused by the violation of the owner's right, in particular to the state and municipality, to the user of the land plot;
- land disputes in the course of execution, amendment, termination, and conclusion of land lease agreements. This also includes disputes over the repayment of rent arrears under a land use agreement;
- other private law disputes arising from land relations.
The HCCU also noted the dual legal nature of the rent for state-owned or municipally owned land. On the one hand, the land rent is a payment stipulated by the relevant lease agreement, and on the other hand, it is also one of the forms of payment for land, which is equivalent to the land tax.
At the same time, the grounds for the obligation to pay lease payments are based solely on the land lease agreement. Given that lease payments are payable by the lessee to the lessor, disputes over the repayment of lease payments should be considered by the commercial courts of Ukraine.
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