Katarzyna Gaczyńska

Published: 2023 | DOI: 10.58183/pjps.01012023


Nowadays, there is a noticeable trend aimed at ensuring broad protection of the natural environment – both for the sake of preserving biodiversity and the quality of life of the future generations. However, the related activities of public authorities and private entities often involve limiting the rights of property owners. The Polish Constitutional Tribunal has ruled on the conflict between property rights and conservation of nature. The Tribunal has pointed out that the principles of sustainable development require an appropriate balance between environment protection on one hand and social and civilizational development on the other.

In accordance with the previous jurisprudence of the Tribunal, the article will present the limits set for the state’s environment policy in certain specific areas by the Constitution. It is acceptable to establish mechanisms to control the exploitation of plantings belonging to real property. Property owners may be required to obtain permits for their removal, and in the absence of such permits, they may be punished with forfeiture of timber or a fine. However, it is incompatible with the principle of proportionality and infringes the right of owners by arbitrary restrictions or imposed automatically sanctions, without the possibility of taking into account the circumstances. Moreover, the Tribunal has pointed out that the Constitution does not allow disproportionate narrowing down of the possibility to seek compensation for restrictions in the use of real property for the sake of environment protection. Only the two-year deadline for submitting claims in this respect has been considered too painful – too short and impossible to be reinstated for justified reasons.

How to cite

Gaczyńska K., Restriction of the Right of Ownership of Real Property due to Environment Protection in Light of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, „Polish Journal of Political Science”, 2023, Vol. 9, Issue 1, pp. 4–20, DOI: 10.58183/pjps.01012023.