Analysis 2/2017: Facilitations of tree removal: good intentions, pathological law-making process, manipulations
December changes in the law on tree removal (commonly known as "Lex Szyszko") are just one example of the pathology of the legislative process deepening under the rule of Law and Justice.
Law is adopted hastily, without consultation or broad debate. In some cases, the legislative path of deputies is used for projects prepared by the government. This is a way to avoid public, social and interministerial consultations and submit projects without due impact assessment.
"Lex Szyszko"was signed by the President just 21 days after its draft was submitted to the Parliament. In 2016 it takes, on average, 77 days. For comparison, in 2010 it took 170 days, when the law was made less hastily.
The intention of December legislation: to strengthen property rights and improve the freedom of disposition of private property was the right one, but these changes were not carried out properly because of, inter alia, pathological law-making process.
Both "Lex Szyszko" and its March amendment proposed by PiS, unjustifiably discriminate against entities and individuals engaged in business activities. At the same time, the lack of consultation prevented debate on tools that would effectively protect the trees that generate significant benefits (e.g.,. in some urban locations), and on ways to compensate private owners of such lots.
"Lex Szyszko" is also an example of how information, in times of its rapid flow, can be manipulated, especially on the Internet. Pictures have been published in large numbers, without facts about land ownership or legal basis of cutting.
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Marek Tatała, Economist at FOR
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