The Supreme Administrative Court rendered the 105-Pan-102 Decision of March 4, 2016 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that any joint owner of a historical building may independently apply to the competent authority for historical building designation and registration in the capacity of the building’s owner with no need to obtain the consent of all of the owners.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellee applied to the Appellant to register an ancestral house owned by the Appellee in conjunction with the other Li clan. The Appellant’s Cultural Asset Review Committee resolved not to register the house and issued the original disposition along with meeting minutes to the Appellee. Dissatisfied, the Appellee brought administrative action after his administrative appeal was rejected. The original trial court rendered a decision to set aside the original disposition and ordered the Appellant to render another legally appropriate disposition pursuant to the legal opinions reflected in the decision. Dissatisfied, the Appellant filed this appeal.
According to the Decision, in view of the legislative objectives and relevant provisions of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, it can be concluded that the legislative spirit pursued by the legislators was to cope with social and cultural development needs and cause all people to proactively apply for historical building registration so as to actively preserve cultural heritages and satisfy the cultural and spiritual needs of the people. Therefore, Article 15, Paragraph 3 of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act should be interpreted as a law that seeks to protect specific persons. It is for the above reason that an owner can certainly exercise his/her public law right of claim over historical building registration application, and that each joint owner has his/her independent right to apply for historical building registration and to bring legal action without obtaining the consent of all of the owners or without causing an application to be filed by all of the owners. In addition, in view of the circumstances where a historical building is a long-standing building with inheritance relations across several generations and usually with many joint owners and complex joint ownership, if it is construed that all joint owners have to agree or have to file joint application, Article 15, Paragraph 3 of the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act will almost have no room for application. Moreover, this violates the public-interest nature of historical buildings, which are cultural assets of the people. Therefore, the appeal was rejected and the original decision was affirmed by this Decision.