The assumptions of the current amendment to the law on border protection were criticized in “Yes,” on TVN24 by former judge of the Constitutional Tribunal and former chairman of PKW Wojciech Hermeliński. He assessed that the temporary ban on staying in the frontier zone introduced by it, “it is such a prosthesis which is to constitute an extension of the state of emergency referred to in the consituation.” He indicated that now the minister of internal affairs and administration “will freely and arbitrarily decide for how long this state should be extended”.
On Tuesday, the Sejm rejected the Senate’s amendments to the amendment to the law on border protection. The amendment was immediately signed by President Andrzej Duda and was published in the Journal of Laws. By her power, Regulation of the Minister of Interior and Administration, from December 1 to March 1, there will be a ban on staying in 183 localities near the border with Belarus. The ban will apply to 115 towns of the Podlaskie Voivodeship and 68 towns of the Lubelskie Voivodeship. This is the same area where the state of emergency was introduced.
Hermeliński: for me it is an unambiguous violation of the constitution
Retired judge of the Constitutional Tribunal, former chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Wojciech Hermeliński was asked in “Yes,” on TVN24, what is the difference between the state of emergency and the temporary ban on staying in this area in the border zone. – This is a prosthesis that is to be an extension of the state of emergency that the consituation speaks of – he assessed.
– This is such a caricature, so to speak, a state of emergency, because the constitution says which entities introduce the state of emergency. The president may for 90 days, the Sejm must approve it, and if necessary, the Sejm may extend it for another 60 days. This is 150 days in total, not a day more of the state of emergency. On the other hand, according to this amended act, article 12a of the Border Protection Act, here, in principle, the clerk, who is the minister of internal affairs and administration, decides, he pointed out.
He added that the minister decides about it “without any consultation with anyone, and what is worse, he can introduce this pseudo-state at the time he likes.”
Hermeliński also assessed that “the legislator had gone beyond the constitution, in fact changed it in a roundabout way”. – Because the essence of this state of emergency remained in principle the one mentioned in the constitution, and the term is indefinite – he said. – For me it is a violation of the constitution in an unequivocal manner – added a former judge of the Constitutional Tribunal.
He pointed out that “the law may limit all kinds of rights, including the right to freedom of movement”. – Meanwhile, the law [nowelizacja ustawy o ochronie granicy – przyp. red.] it places it in the hands of an official, in the hands of a minister, who will freely and arbitrarily decide for how long this state should be extended, he added.
Main photo source: DWOT