Provincial governor exceeds his powers, a court decides 

Provincial governor exceeds his powers, a court decides

On 13 July 2023, the Provincial Administrative Court in Białystok ruled that a regulation issued by the governor of the Podlaskie province that prohibits the throwing of objects across the border with Belarus was unlawful.  

The regulation in question, dated 16 February 2023, prohibits the “throwing, transferring and receiving of objects thrown or transferred across the state border line” in the area adjacent to the Polish-Belarusian border. In May 2023, the Ombudsman applied to the court to declare the regulation invalid. He argued that the governor had exceeded his legal powers by issuing the regulation. According to current laws, a province governor can only issue a peacekeeping regulation if two conditions are met, namely if the regulation is necessary to protect interests such as life, health, property or to ensure order, peace and public safety and the matter in question is not sufficiently regulated by existing legal provisions. In the opinion of the Ombudsman, the regulation does not pass the above-mentioned legal test. 

The Provincial Administrative Court in Białystok agreed with the Ombudsman that the regulation does not fulfil the necessary conditions for its adoption. The court found, among other things, that the measure is unclear due to the lack of a clearly defined term “border area” and the absence of a definition of the objects covered by the ban, which, according to the court, may lead to overinterpretation and abuse.  

This is another court ruling that shows how state administrative bodies and public services abuse their powers, leading to violations of migrants' rights.  

The Provincial Administrative Court's decision is not final.  

More information about migrants judgement can be found on the Ombudsman’s website.