We present to you a study which is a legal commentary to the dramatic events that have been taking place on the Polish–Belarusian border since August 2021. The humanitarian crisis unfolding there, or in fact the Polish government’s response to it ,not only does it raisemany moral but also legal questions. In this publication, we attempt to answer the most important of the latter. This selection of issues comes from questions and doubts appearing in press materials, and also from requests made by people helping on the border and acting as part of the Grupa Granica organisation.
As you will see, the issues we address in this publication cover many different areas of law, which often overlap. They concern migration law, constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, humanitarian law, international law and human rights law. This required assembling an expert team of authors who would be capable of providing answers to these questions – answers that are often far from obvious.
The publication is the product of collaboration between two research centres operating at the Institute of Law Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences: the Migration Law Research Centre and the Centre for Research on International Criminal Law. The authors represent various research institutions, although most of them are active members of one of the PAS centres.
We have tried to make sure that this study has mainly a practical value. For this reason, our goal was to offer concise and detailed answers to the questions and doubts which have been raised. The articles we are offering to readers are based on the academic expertise of the authors, but we have tried to use relatively clear language and not to cloak our argumentation in convoluted legalese. I hope that we have succeeded in doing so and that this publication will be of use to a wide range of readers who would like to understand how to evaluate the actions of those in power from a legal point of view. The findings presented in this report refers to the legal status as of 1st May 2022.
Witold Klaus, co-chair of the Migration Consortium