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Wardynski & Partners Successful for OKO.Press Journalist Before Supreme Administrative Court

Wardynski & Partners Successful for OKO.Press Journalist Before Supreme Administrative Court

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Wardynski & Partners has represented an OKO.Press journalist before the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland in a case concerning press access to a session of parliament.

According to Wardynski & Partners, “the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland denied the cassation appeal by the Speaker of the Sejm concerning the refusal to admit a journalist from OKO.Press to a session of the lower house of parliament. The judgment is final.”

People with disabilities had scheduled a protest in the Sejm on May 10, 2018, the firm informed: “Consequently, on April 25, 2018, the Sejm Information Center announced that for 'organizational and safety reasons' it was suspending the issuance of single-admission passes to sessions of the parliament. The commander of the parliamentary guard service, acting pursuant to an order from the Speaker of the Sejm, denied admission to many people seeking to report on sessions of a parliamentary committee devoted to the protest or to take part in the sessions. One of the people denied access was a journalist from the news site OKO.Press. The journalist appealed against this decision to the Province Administrative Court in Warsaw, which upheld the complaint and found that the denial of admission was ineffective. The Speaker of the Sejm then appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court, alleging in his cassation appeal that denial of admission to the Sejm cannot be reviewed by the administrative court. The Ombudsman also joined the case on the journalist’s side.”

According to the firm, “the Supreme Administrative Court denied the cassation appeal and upheld the judgment below. The high court shared the view presented by counsel and the Ombudsman and recognized a constitutional right on the part of every citizen to access public information and to attend sessions of bodies chosen in public elections. The court held that the act complained of was taken in exercise of public authority and thus was reviewable by the court.”

Wardynski & Partners’ team included Lawyers Artur Pietryka, Filip Rak, and Magdalena Kotowicz.