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Constitutional legitimacy of border restrictions confirmed

Published: 25.01.2022

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· The crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border, caused by an increased influx of immigrants, continues.

· Foreign migrants, helped by Belarusian services, destroy border barriers, throw dangerous objects and use lasers in an attempt to blind Border Guard officers.

Polish authorities have lifted the state of emergency, replacing it with a temporary ban on entry to areas on the border to ensure safety close to the border by using the least onerous measures possible.

· The Ordo Iuris Institute has prepared a legal opinion on the matter, in which it demonstrates the constitutional legitimacy of the new regulations.

 

“Despite the adverse weather conditions, the situation on the border is far from peaceful and the threat is as real as ever. This seems to confirm that what we are facing is an attempt of the Belarusian authorities to destabilise the situation on the border rather than a migratory movement. The measures taken by the Polish authorities must be assessed as well-balanced and appropriately tailored to the level of threat”, commented Łukasz Bernaciński, member of the Ordo Iuris Institute’s Management Board.

 

Recently, there have been numerous assaults on officers of the Polish Border Guard. A growing number of guards are hospitalised after being attacked with stones, bricks, branches and firecrackers. The Polish authorities, however, have decided against extending the state of emergency, lifting numerous restrictions that were in place between September and December 2021. The lifted restrictions were replaced with a temporary ban on entry to certain areas near the border.

 

The authorities have envisaged numerous exemptions from the temporary ban: those exempted include persons who live, conduct business activity and work in the area (including as farmers), as well as persons who go to school there, their guardians and even persons who take part in religious worship.

 

The Ordo Iuris Institute has prepared a legal opinion on this matter in which it has emphasised that the temporary ban on entry meets the Constitutional requirements of necessity and proportionality. The measure imposed is grounded in law, and as such is appropriate to the existing threat and makes it unnecessary to apply more onerous measures, such as the introduction of a state of emergency. Businesses affected by the temporary ban will receive compensation amounting to 65% of their average monthly income.

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