Extradition and Interpol Notices: A Guide to Procedures
More and more requests are filed with Polish prosecutors and courts by other countries seeking extradition of wanted persons found in Poland. These persons often are not even aware that they are sought by law enforcement authorities in another country to face criminal charges there or to enforce existing criminal sanctions.
Vehicle forfeiture: A problem for employers?
11.08.2022 criminal, employment, project
On 7 February 2022, the Polish Sejm adopted an amendment to the Criminal Code introducing a controversial proposal for ordering the forfeiture of vehicles driven by intoxicated traffic offenders. Ordered by the criminal court, the change of ownership from the driver to the State Treasury is intended to help the justice system effectively combat road hogs and drunk drivers. The amendment is currently being considered by the Senate, which can still make changes. But it can already be predicted that rulings on vehicle forfeitures will face difficulties.
Extraditions should finally be taken seriously
28.03.2022 international law
Some 70–80 extradition requests are filed every year with the Polish authorities, to turn over persons to stand trial before a foreign court or serve a punishment abroad.
Careful with seizing an automobile as security
27.01.2022 criminal, European Court of Human Rights
On 21 December 2021, the European Court of Human Rights issued a judgment in Stołkowski v Poland (application no. 58795/15) holding that Poland had violated the applicant’s property rights. The case involved the long impoundment of the applicant’s car as security in a criminal case pending against him, which resulted in decimation of the vehicle’s value. Relying on principles of property rights, the court decided when impoundment of a car may be disproportionate, despite the existing public interest and legal basis for application of such a measure.
Acquittal of a drunk driver does not exclude civil liability
14.01.2021 European Court of Human Rights, criminal, insurance
In December 2020, the European Court of Human Rights issued its judgment in Papageorgiou v Greece (application No. 44101/13), holding that despite his prior acquittal, the imposition of civil liability on a driver for causing an accident under the influence of alcohol did not violate the presumption of innocence. The case provides an opportunity to discuss how the outcome of criminal proceedings impacts drunk drivers’ liability for damages.
Understandable information for detainees
A document handed over (or worse, merely shown) to a detainee upon detention may not be comprehensible. This is not only a Polish problem. In other EU countries as well, guidance given to detainees leaves a lot to be desired. Hence, the idea for lawyers and plain-language specialists to join forces to create new sample guidance for detainees.
Coronavirus: How to challenge compulsory treatment?
12.03.2020 already in force, coronavirus
Faced by the spreading SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, the Polish Parliament and President rushed through a Special Coronavirus Act. The act is intended to clarify and supplement regulations on prevention of the spread of infectious diseases in Poland. But by giving total primacy to protection of the public interest, the act ignores the issue of the rights and freedoms of persons subjected to various forms of compulsory treatment (hospitalisation, quarantine, and epidemiological supervision). Do individuals have any means of legal protection in this context?
Denial of entry is just the start of problems
Perpetrators of border offences aren’t all human traffickers or smugglers of goods. Increasingly they are citizens of third countries wishing to travel around the EU for study, work, or tourism. To facilitate obtaining a visa or an extension of their stay, they may use the services of intermediaries who don’t always operate lawfully. Visitors risk a lot this way. If the Border Guard finds that a passport or visa is falsified, the holder may not only be denied entry into an EU member state, but may also be convicted of a criminal offence and have their details entered in registers, hindering future travel in the Schengen zone. How can travellers defend themselves in this situation?
Criminal procedure: Third reform, dubious results
17.10.2019 already in force, criminal
On 5 October 2019, the third “fundamental” reform of Polish criminal procedure in the last four years came into force. It is supposed to be faster, fairer and less bureaucratic. We heard the same claims for the changes coming into force on 1 July 2015 and then on 15 April 2016. But court cases have not speeded up. On the contrary, there are more complaints about delays and thus payments from the State Treasury to victims of dilatory proceedings.
Przesłuchanie w postępowaniu karnym – poradnik dla przedsiębiorcy i jego pracowników
Nasi klienci często kontaktują się z nami, gdy oni sami lub ich pracownicy otrzymają wezwanie na przesłuchanie. Często nie wiedzą, dlaczego zostali wezwani. Pytają, jak mogliby się uzyskać informacje, czego dotyczy dana sprawa. Chcieliby wiedzieć, jak takie przesłuchanie przebiega i jakie są ich prawa i obowiązki.
Use of criminal law to combat drug distribution
13.06.2019 already in force, life sciences, criminal
On 6 June 2019, another amendment to the Pharmaceutical Law came into force. Its aim is to reduce the occurrence of non-availability of medicines. According to the authors of the changes, only more severe penalties and broader penalisation can limit the undesirable occurrence of the reverse distribution chain. However, the first comments on these changes show that the threat of penalties alone may not be enough to achieve this goal. It has been known for some time now that the inevitability of punishment is an indicator of the effectiveness of criminal policy.
Can entrapment help to prosecute companies?
23.05.2019 new provisions, criminal
A new Corporate Liability Act which is currently before the Polish Sejm will put criminal law institutions in a new perspective. Certain instruments that were seen as appropriate only with respect to individuals will have to be redirected to be deployed in the case of corporate entities. Once the new laws take effect, corporate entities will be the focus of attention of law enforcement agencies. The new approach will affect among other things police entrapment operations (controlled handing over of a bribe), at the moment usually used with regard to businesspeople.