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Walerian Pańko – on Ownership and Possession

Walerian Pańko, who originated from the Professor Andrzej Stelmachowski school of agricultural law as his first promoted doctor, developed an innovative concept of understanding ownership as a presumption of general competence to use and dispose of real property. In his work entitled O prawie własności i jego współczesnych funkcjach (Ownership Right and Its Contemporary Functions, Katowice 1984), he stated, that “[…] the crux of ownership right is most simply – and most fully – expressed as the idea of presumed competence”. In his monograph Dzierżawa gruntów rolnych (Agricultural Land Tenure, Warsaw 1975), W. Pańko discussed the problem of “proprietary” protection of the possessor within the context of tenure, stating openly that the process of expansion of possessory protection is an outcome of the crisis of ownership rights. Walerian Pańko has put forward a thesis of pivotal significance for the values protected by the law, that “the strength of ownership right lays in the sensation of real stability, certainty and continuity of law. In protecting the basic value of ownership right, we are not protecting egoistic monopoly, but rather the presumption of exclusivity of the owner”.