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Administrative court again rules in favour of foreign refugee refused entry to Poland

The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw has decided a case brought by the HFHR’s client, a Tajikistani national who tried to file an application for international protection on 1 February 2017 at the border crossing station in Medyka. The Border Guard did not accept his application and issued a decision refusing entry to Poland, solely on the basis of an official memo made by a Border Guard officer.

Judgment of PAC

Presenting the verbal justification of the judgment, the court held that the memo indicating a foreigner’s intention to enter Poland for economic purposes may not be sufficient evidence of the motives guiding a foreigner seeking entry. The PAC followed the line of reasoning applied in the case of an HFHR’s client, who tried to apply for international protection at the Terespol border crossing station, and ruled that in such situations a report should be drafted and that this report must include the foreigner’s signature confirming the truthfulness of information presented in the document.

“This is another important step towards improving foreign nationals’ access to the refugee procedure in Poland. We expect that this judgment will affect the practices of Border Guard officers at Polish border stations. We hope that in the wake of this decision foreign nationals’ applications for international protection will be properly documented and accepted for review”, says Daniel Witko, a lawyer representing the HFHR before the Provincial Administrative Court.

Similar cases, different rulings

So far, the PAC dismissed only one out of the three cases of appeals against decisions refusing entry issued at the border to HFHR’s clients who declared an intention to seek international protection in Poland. Interestingly, the complaint dismissed by the Provincial Administrative Court was also submitted also by a Tajikistani national who tried to file an application for international protection on 1 February 2017 at the border crossing station in Medyka and was represented by an attorney provided by the HFHR. We described the other case here.

“For us, PAC decision is significant also from the perspective of the stability of jurisprudence. We hope that administrative courts will develop a stable line of reasoning based on the interpretation of the provisions on the refusal of entry procedure at Poland’s border. We are looking forward to other two hearings on decisions refusing entry issued at the Polish border to Tajikistani nationals on 1 February 2017, said Jacek Białas, the attorney representing the foreigner pro bono before the PAC.

The HFHR has joined the case before the Provincial Administrative Court as a community organisation.

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