Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ statement on amended Code of Administrative Procedure
Poland notes with concern the statements of the Israeli side on the amended Code of Administrative Procedure. Those comments are indicative of ignorance of the facts and Polish law. Poland is by no means responsible for the Holocaust, an atrocity committed by the German occupant also on Polish citizens of Jewish origin. Millions of citizens of the Second Polish Republic became victims of German crimes.
The act amending the Act – Code of Administrative Procedure, adopted on 24 June 2021 by Polish Sejm, results from the obligation to implement the Constitutional Tribunal’s verdict of 12 May 2015 into the Polish legal system. The Tribunal ruled that the situation where no time limit applies to the possibility of declaring invalid the administrative decisions issued with a gross violation of law is contrary to the principle of a democratic state of law.
The adoption of the Act by the Polish Sejm as the performance of the Tribunal’s verdict is a legal consequence of the judgment and a duty of the authorities. In line with the Tribunal’s judgment, the legislator has set a time limit to claim invalidity of administrative decisions. The adopted Act provides for a limit of 30 years during which invalidity of an administrative decision can be declared due to the decision having been issued with a gross violation of the law.
The amendment to this law is based on the need to ensure citizens’ trust in the state and to implement the principle of legal certainty. The possibility of challenging a decision issued by public authorities cannot be unlimited in time. Such a situation gives rise to uncertainty as to the existing legal relationship and creates the impression that a decision is provisional.
The introduction of time limits for challenging administrative decisions will also lead to the elimination of fraud and irregularities, which occurred on a large scale in reprivatisation cases.
The amended provisions will only apply to administrative proceedings, including reprivatisation proceedings. They will not affect civil proceedings aimed at obtaining compensation for unlawfully seized property.
The amendment will apply to all pending administrative proceedings in which action has been taken to challenge administrative decisions issued in a distant past. The amended provisions will apply regardless of the nationality or origin of the parties. They are therefore non-discriminatory.
It should be strongly emphasized once again that the new regulations do not in any way restrict the possibility of bringing civil suits to seek damages, irrespective of the plaintiff’s nationality or origin.
MFA Press Office