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New interpretation of Warsaw Decree


DZP's Real Estate Practice has successfully finalised an unusual Decree case in which Decree decisions negative for the heir of the former owners were passed 10 years ago and confirmed at that time by a final and non-revisable administrative court judgment dismissing an appeal against these decisions. The measures taken by DZP, indicating that authorities and courts had moved away in later years from the interpretation of the Warsaw Decree that lay at the basis of the above judgments, enabled these decisions unfavourable for our client to be changed.

DZP based its actions on article 154 of the Code of Administrative Procedure, while during the case, which ended in the Supreme Administrative Court (I OSK 718/13), it was confirmed that the prerequisite for applying this provisions may be a (general) change in legal interpretation, in this case article 7 of the Warsaw Decree. The view, known from earlier case law, was also upheld, i.e. that a change of decision pursuant to article 154 of the Code of Administrative Procedure can also be made if the decision was previously subject to court control during which an appeal against it was dismissed.

Consequently, it was rightly adopted that a negative decision issued pursuant to article 7 of the Warsaw Decree is subject to the procedure provided for in article 154 of the Code of Administrative Procedure in which, according to article 7 in fine of the Code, the individual interest of a party (i.e. the former owner of Decree real estate or his/her legal successor) takes priority over the public interest (while the latter, if any, must be specifically indicated by the authority with an additional explanation of why it prevents the party's demands being met).

All the above circumstances, raised by DZP since the beginning of the proceedings, allowed a favourable result to be finally achieved in the form of a decision changing, pursuant to article 154 of the Code of Administrative Procedure, earlier Decree decisions negative for our client and issued in the years 2000-2002 (passed after a prior finding of invalidity of refusal Decree judgments at the beginning of the 1950s).

The DZP lawyers working on the matter were Lech Żyżylewski and Piotr Gołaszewski from our Real Estate Practice specialising in reprivatisation cases.

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