Godło RP

Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 25 February - 1 March 2019


The story of Mr Lucjan is known by us from documents only as we had no opportunity to meet him.

Mr Lucjan was placed in a mental hospital 10 years ago, under the so-called security measure, after he had stolen a bicycle. Psychiatrists concluded that due to his mental condition he was not subject to penalty under the criminal law. The court’s decision on his placement in the mental hospital was based on an opinion of a psychologist who had not examined the patient but only his case files.

The court concluded, without fully justifying his opinion, that the stealing of the bicycle posed serious risk for the society, and placed Mr Lucjan in a mental hospital without defining the duration of the placement. No appeal against the judgment was lodged.

The case was discovered during one of the CHR’s preventive visits. The visits are paid by experts to places, including mental hospitals, where people deprived of their liberty are kept. The aim is to verify whether human rights are not violated there. During one of such visits, Mr Lucjan’s files were discovered.

The files were forwarded to the Criminal Law Team of the CHR Office. In December 2018, the Commissioner lodged a cassation appeal regarding the case.

This week the Supreme Court agreed that Mr Lucjan was deprived of his liberty without sufficient grounds, for ten years for stealing a bicycle. He has already been released.

more about Mr Lucjan’s case and about other cases examined by the CHR

DON’T PEOPLE KNOW THEY ARE DISCRIMINATED? Most Poles declare they do not encounter any discrimination. But do they know what discrimination is? Not really, concluded a survey ordered by the CHR from Kantar Public. The results were presented on 1 March on the international Zero Discrimination Day. (more)

The CHR congratulated the city of Warsaw on adopting the „the city’s LGBT+ Policy”. This is real counteraction against discrimination! (more)

CARERS WHO ARE FORGOTTEN Over 2 million Poles look after their elderly or disabled family members. The carers are forgotten by the state, apart from benefits paid to some of them. The CHR has requested the Minister of Labour and Social Policy to adopt a comprehensive programme for family carers. (more)

The CHR is looking into the case of Łódź police officers’ improper reaction to an attempt of rape and beating, reported by a young woman. The police should formally explain what happened and how they reacted. (more)

Will the Ministry of the Interior and Administration agree with the arguments of over 1500 persons who have complained to the CHR about the current passport form that contains the motto God, Honour and Homeland? The complainants state that the motto undermines their freedom of conscience and belief, particularly that is s placed next to the hologram and the photograph, which could mean the person in the photograph identifies with a specific belief. (more)

The CHR’s EXTRAORDINARY COMPLAINT. The court’s order for payment regarding the replacement of pipes was non-compliant with the law. The CHR lodged an extraordinary complaint as this was the only way of removing the mistake of the court. (more)

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS. The Ministry of Agriculture plans an amendment to the act on rural associations of women. It also publishes statistics on the practical impact of the new legislation. (more)

For what specific purpose is the money from the Justice Fund spent? The CHR repeats his questions to minister Zbigniew Ziobro. (more)


  • The Ministry of the Environment wants to introduce more precise regulations on waste storage. The CHR has doubts as to one of the proposed provisions according to which housing communities and cooperatives may have to incur additional costs. (more)
  • Owners of buildings included in the municipal register of historic buildings may not object to their inclusion there, and sometimes are not even aware of it. The Sejm has shared the CHR’s view that the regulation is non-compliant with the constitution. (more)
  • In 2017, 1057 legal abortions were performer. There was no such procedures in the Podkarpackie voivodeship. According to the CHR, this may mean lack of access to legal abortion in this region, which is against the rights of patients. (more)
  • The act under which dangerous persons may be placed in the Gostynin centre for indefinite time needs to be amended, and the system of the centre’s work has to be verified. The CHR wrote to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki with regard to the issue. (more)
  • 10 years after the attorney’s examination, the person’s right to seek entry on the list of attorney expires. In the opinion of the Commissioner, the regulation of 2014 undermines the constitutional right of access to the profession and the system of democratic state ruled by law. For three years, the Ministry of Justice has not responded to the CHR’s intervention letter regarding the matter. (more)


On basic child maintenance payments and further joint work of the CHR and the Ombudsman for Children: a meeting of the Team on Child Maintenance was attended by Commissioner Adam Bodnar and Ombudsman Michał Pawlak. (more)

The new ideas concerning lay judges, and the proposed introduction of magistrates and commercial jurors requires a serious debate, believes the CHR. In a lecture on 28 February 2019 Adam Bodnar spoke about making the system of justice closer to the citizens. (more)

Sylwia Spurek, Ph.D., has ceased to work as Deputy CHR for Equal Treatment. (more)