Street Renaming after the Change of Political Regime: Legal and Policy Recommendations from Human Rights Perspectives
11 Pages Posted: 8 May 2018 Last revised: 22 Nov 2018
Date Written: April 1, 2018
This policy brief discusses the contemporary practice of mass street re-naming as a matter of constitutional debate related to the subsidiarity of government, democratic participation, political pluralism, minority rights, and freedom of speech. It offers general policy recommendations and legal suggestions for best practices to address the aforementioned concerns. The first part provides a brief overview of mass street re-naming as a phenomenon occurring across Europe today. In the second part, it scrutinizes a recent Polish law on street de-communization, which took effect in 2017. The section presents an overview of the mechanisms adopted with the Law, and the rationale behind the legislation. Furthermore, the policy brief discusses controversies, which have arisen from the implementation of the 2017 Polish Law. In the third part, based on the research of the authors in the area of memory laws, the brief offers ten policy recommendations. The fourth part provides of a summary of good practices for mitigating any negative effects of laws requiring a mass re-naming of streets; followed by a conclusion in the final, fifth part.
Keywords: memory laws, de-communization, transitional justice, democratization, minority rights
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation