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Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 21 - 28 February 2018

Newsletter  21-28 February 2018

MAIN MATTERS

The CHR to the Speaker of the Sejm: elections to the National Council of the Judiciary may not be valid

The problematic system of elections of the National Judiciary Council members by politicians (introduced by a parliamentary act of 2017) is further complicated by the fact that the election process can easily be questioned. The newly elected Council is not going to represent judges from all types and levels of courts, although this is required by the Constitution. The CHR also inquired the Sejm Speaker about the reasons for not disclosing the data of judges who have supported the candidates to positions in the new Council [more].

The CHR to the Minister of Justice: the “register of paedophiles” causes harm to innocent members of their families

Two children of a man indicated in the register as convicted for paedophilia are afraid that their trauma and exclusion may come back when the local community finds out what their father has done. Both of them were also victims of their father's violence (although not of sexual crimes). One of the man’s sons requested the CHR to intervene. The Commissioner appealed to the Minister of Justice to change the law [more].

The Commissioner for Human Rights welcomed the government’s announced withdrawal from certain solutions planned within the system of public disclosure of personal property status by public administration officials. The CHR’s doubts concerning the aims of the act on transparency of public life were presented e.g. on the media [more].

THE COMMISSIONER ON CITIZENS’ ISSUES

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Opole has accepted the complaint of the Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the additional 500 PLN child benefit that was granted by the city of Nysa with priority given, among others, to parents who are married [more].

The CHR on the need to ensure greater protection of family members of certain residents of social welfare homes

Adult children of parents who, in the past, grossly neglected their parental duties or were perpetrators of violence against their children, should enjoy protection by the state and should, as a rule, be exempt from fees for their parents’ stay in social welfare homes, emphasized the CHR in his intervention submitted to the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy [more].

The Commissioner received a complaint regarding the requirement to provide a medical certificate confirming that a woman breastfeeds her baby, which requirement exists in the Ministry of the Interior and Administration in relation to female employees whose working time is shorter due to breastfeeding. In the CHR’s opinion the requirement has no grounds in the law. The Ministry plans to change the regulations [more].

The CHR on the expiry of employment relationships as grounds for terminating employment contracts of employees of the Bureau for Academic Recognition and International Exchange [more].

The Commissioner intervened before the National Broadcasting Council with regard to the programme Studio Polska that was broadcast live on TVP Info on 22 July 2017. One of the programme’s audience participants said that courts should be independent but some judges should hang. After the CHR’s intervention the Council stated that live programme moderators have to react to the participants’ comments if they are against the law [more].

A man with intellectual disability was placed in a nursing home without prior verification by the court of whether, with appropriate support, he would be able to live in his local community. The Commissioner requested the court to reconsider the case, to examine it carefully and to ensure all possible support to the person concerned [more].

The CHR’s another call to amend the law on cemeteries and burial of deceased persons, and to introduce the function of coroner [more].

LEGISLATION

The Constitutional Tribunal has adjudicated that the regulations on lawyers’ minimum fees for representation in cases concerning social security and retirement pension insurance are partly inconsistent with the Constitution [more].

The Minister of Justice agrees with the CHR that the regulations on incapacitation need to be amended but no changes are now going to be introduced [more].

The Voivodeship Administrative Court in Kraków annulled the resolution of the Tarnów City Council prohibiting to keep livestock animals within the city boundaries. The complaint concerning the resolution was lodged by the Commissioner for Human Rights [more].

Domestic violence should be combated more effectively. The Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy agreed with the CHR and announced changes in this area. Modifications are planned in the regulations on specialist support centres for victims of domestic violence, as and in corrective and educational programmes for persons who have been identified as perpetrators of domestic violence [more].

THE CHRONICLE

Local governments’ good practices in the field of support for persons with disabilities were presented during the gala event closing the competition Local governments that ensure equal opportunities

During the event, Dr Krzysztof Kurowski from the Equal Treatment Team of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights received a special award for his contribution to and engagement in building local environment accessible to persons with disabilities and for his efforts aimed at promoting the idea of such persons’ independent living [more].

Deputy CHR Hanna Machińska’s visit to Geneva [more].

The 14th debate of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture was held in Kielce [more].

Discussion on the city’s bill of rights for homeless people – a meeting of the Expert Committee on Homelessness Prevention [more].

The 6th edition of the national social campaign The many faces of depression: I don’t judge. I accept has been launched under the patronage of the CHR [more].