Aleksander Babiński, Łomża State University of Applied Sciences, Poland

 

 

A feature of the constitution is that the political system assumes a right to exercise freedom of conscience and religion. In the reality of a totalitarian state the ability to use this freedom was not so evident since, despite the formal guarantee, this ability was limited. In a democratic state of law, this freedom has been clarified by the legislature. By virtue of the Constitution expressions of religious belief may be restricted by law only when it is necessary to protect national security, public order, health, morals or the rights and freedoms of others. The legislation establishing special arrangements to enable the public exercise of worship does not introduce such restrictions. On the contrary, it facilitates its execution. A particular mode of worship involves events that take place entailing the use of public roads. Legislation providing for the use of roads assumes a formalisation of carrying out such religious ceremonies as pilgrimages, processions and funeral corteges on the roads. The article presents legal solutions to enable them to be carried out, indicating the dependence resulting from the category of road on which they are held and solutions designed to ensure the safety of the participants as specific users of public roads. It states which authorities are competent to make arrangements in this regard, indicating the multiplicity of authorities that need to be involved in this process. In the context of the existing legal situation, whether the solutions adopted allow determination of those responsible for the security and the scope of arrangements to ensure the safety of participants of pilgrimages, processions or funeral corteges is important.