Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Czech Constitutional Court Refuses Injunction Pending Its Decision On Church Restitution Law

Last year the Czech Republic passed a law on return of church property confiscated during the country's Communist regime. Under the law, the government will return land worth 75 billion crowns and will pay additional compensation of 59 billion crowns over the next 30 years. (See prior posting.)  Challenges to the law have been filed in the country's Constitutional Court, and the court has agreed to decide one of those cases challenging its constitutionality. Nevertheless, the government moved ahead on Feb. 22 to sign contracts with 16 churches and religious societies on their financial compensation.  The opposition Social Democratic Party filed with the Constitutional Court asking it to enjoin the government moving ahead with the contracts pending the court's decision on the validity of the entire law. Prague Daily Monitor reported yesterday that the Constitutional Court dismissed the injunctive action ruling that it lacks jurisdiction since it may only decide constitutional challenges.