Disputed property, Church privileges and A1P1 ECHR: Sociedad Anónima del Ucieza

The ECtHR has handed down judgment in Sociedad Anónima del Ucieza v Spain [2016] ECHR (Application No. 38963/08) [In French]. The dispute was over the registration of ownership of a mediaeval church.


In 1978 the applicant company (SAdU) had purchased a plot of land at Ribas de Campos in which the church had formed an enclave and had registered it in the land register. The land had belonged to the former Premonstratensian monastery of Santa Cruz de la Zarza and in December 1994 the Diocese of Palencia registered the same church in the land register in its own name. The entry was made on the basis of a certificate issued by the Diocese itself; and even though SAdU’s name already appeared in the register as the owner of the land in question it was not told in advance about this new entry. Continue reading