Another success at the Supreme Administrative Court in a case involving the Decommunisation Act

Another success at the Supreme Administrative Court in a case involving the Decommunisation Act

The Supreme Administrative Court in Warsaw, in a final and binding judgment of 5 June 2019, dismissed the cassation appeal of the Governor of Wielkopolska against the judgment of the Voivodship Administrative Court in Poznań of 20 December 2018 repealing the substitute ordinance of the Governor of Wielkopolska issued under the so-called Decommunisation Act, pursuant to which the Governor changed the name of the Dąbrowszczaków residential estate in Swarzędz and gave it a new name – Szarych Szeregów [the Grey Ranks]. The Sowisło & Topolewski Law Firm in the person of Aleksandra Urbanowska-Bohun, attorney, represented the Commune of Swarzędz in the case.

This is the second legally binding verdict in a case conducted on the basis of the so-called Decommunisation Act, in which the Sowisło & Topolewski Law Firm represented the Swarzędz Commune. The Supreme Administrative Court in Warsaw did not accept the standpoint of the Governor of Wielkopolska expressed in his cassation appeal. 

Thus, it fully agreed with the arguments of the Voivodship Administrative Court in Poznań and the Swarzędz Commune represented by the Sowisło & Topolewski Law Firm that the Voivodship Governor was not competent to change the name of the residential estate, which is neither an auxiliary unit of the commune, nor a street or a square. Moreover, it stated that the Governor should have checked which specific formation the name of the estate commemorated, also taking into account the existing names of the neighbouring estates, i.e. Kościuszkowców and Czwartaków, because in his decision the Governor assumed that this name commemorates  the formation of “Dąbrowszczacy” who had fought in the Spanish civil war, when in fact it commemorates the Second Infantry Division of J. H. Dąbrowski being part of the First Polish Army formed in the USSR. As in the previous case, the Court also assumed that the recognition that the Commune Council, by failing to independently adopt a resolution on changing the name, also deprived itself of the right to appeal against the replacement ordinance to the administrative court, is contrary to the constitutional principle of independence and judicial protection of local government.

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