Lockdown unconstitutional – judgment of the WSA in Opole

Publication / 08.01.2021

The Voivodship Administrative Court in Opole, in a ruling dated October 27, 2020, ref. II SA/Op 219/20, revoked the decision of the District Sanitary Inspector imposing an administrative penalty on an entrepreneur in connection with his violation of sanitary restrictions introduced in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, involving the conduct of business activities, despite the ban introduced pursuant to a regulation of the Council of Ministers.

In the justification for the ruling, the Court noted that while the bans introduced remained justified on the merits in view of the prevailing epidemiological situation, the mode of their introduction remained flawed and contrary to constitutional norms. The court stressed that restrictions on freedom of economic activity are permitted only by law and only for reasons of important public interest.

The above judgment remains invalid, but it may nevertheless be of significant importance for Courts adjudicating similar cases in the future, including cases involving claims against the State Treasury for damages caused by the illegal issuance of a normative act.