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Bialystok. The court annulled the resolution on naming the street Free Belarus. He found a violation of the law

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Deficiencies in the content of the resolution’s justification – these are the main reasons for invalidating the resolution of the Białystok city council from September last year regarding the renaming of part of Electric Street to Wolna Belorussia Street. The Provincial Administrative Court found that there had been a significant violation of the law. The judgment is invalid. The chairman of the board wonders if he will sue him.

In September, the Białystok councilors passed a resolution in which they changed the name of a part of Electric Street (this is the part where the Belarusian consulate is located – editor’s note) to Wolna Street Belarus.

After the adoption of this resolution, over 60 residents of the blocks of flats located on this street signed a protest to the city authorities. One of the residents filed a complaint with the administrative court. She questioned the mode of adopting the resolution by the council and wanted it to be invalidated, citing an important legal interest.

One of the residents complained

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On Thursday (March 16), the Provincial Administrative Court in Białystok dealt with this case and declared the resolution invalid. It considered that the complainant – as a resident of this street – had a legal interest, i.e. she could lodge a complaint in this mode. And her violated legal interest consisted in the fact that her address of residence was changed, and this forced her to change documents, records and registers, although the city was supposed to cover the costs, which resulted from the resolution.

However, the Provincial Administrative Court pointed out that the mere infringement of the legal interest does not mean that the resolution is invalid. Therefore, it assessed whether there was a violation of the law and whether it was a “significant” violation. And he found that there was such a significant violation of the law in the adoption of this resolution. He pointed out, first of all, the deficiencies in the content of the justification for this resolution.

It is a fragment of the street where the Belarusian consulate is locatedGoogle Maps

Court: deficiencies in the justification of the resolution

Judge Marta Czubkowska explained in the verbal justification of the judgment that it was about two necessary elements of the resolution by which the name of the street is changed. The first is the lack of justification why the current name should be changed, because the justification contained only arguments regarding the new name. The second is the lack of information as to why social consultations were abandoned in this matter, although they were not obligatory.

– Changing the street is an important local matter – said Judge Czubkowska.

Read also: Andrzej Poczobut sentenced to eight years in prison

She referred to the provisions of the act on commune self-government regarding the possibility of conducting consultations.

– According to the court, this particular case should be consulted with the residents, however, the lack of such consultations does not constitute a significant violation of the law, because it is not a mandatory element of the procedure. Nevertheless, the justification for the resolution should include arguments as to why these consultations were abandoned, she added.

The judge said that these two elements were important, and the lack of them constituted a significant violation of the law, because the resolution was met with protests from residents. Some members of the council also had their doubts.

Resident: just because there is a consulate there doesn’t mean you have to change the name of the street

The Białystok resident, whose complaint was upheld by the court, told journalists that she lived at ul. electricity for over 50 years.

– The fact that there is now a consulate of Belarus on this street, and earlier there was a kindergarten or a presbytery, does not mean that the name of the street needs to be changed. I have nothing against Belarusians, let them protest, let them have their own square. There are no protesters there now. I hope that the signs with the name of the street “Elektryczna” will hang permanently – she said.

Electric Street is located in the very center of Białystok. The TUTAKA Foundation, on behalf of Belarusians living in the city, applied to the city authorities to change the name of its part (from Warszawska Street to Jana Klemensa Branickiego). It was about the symbolism of the location, because the Belarusian consulate is located on this street.

The draft resolution was submitted by the mayor of the city. It was adopted not unanimously: eighteen people were in favour, three against, and seven abstained. The main point was that the name of Electric Street is historical, because it can be found on maps of the city from 1935.

They wanted to pay tribute to Belarusians who are fighting for an independent state

For the time being, it is not known whether the city council will appeal against this invalid judgment to the Supreme Administrative Court.

– We need to review the case. Of course, I respect the judgment of the court, but in my opinion the reason for changing the current name was sufficiently justified in the content of the resolution. Of course, we wanted to pay tribute to the Belarusians who are fighting for an independent state – says Łukasz Prokorym, chairman of the Białystok city council, in an interview with tvn24.pl.

However, when it comes to public consultations, he says that there was no obligation to carry them out, but half a year passed from the moment the president informed the public about the idea of ​​changing the name of the street.

– Various circles spoke on this subject, the matter was widely discussed – the chairman points out.

Main photo source: Google Maps



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