Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 28 February - 6 March 2017

Newsletter  28 February – 6 March 2017


We have to do something about smog together

- Out of Poland’s 45 health resorts, only 7 have air quality monitoring stations which measure air quality parameters, said Kamil Wyszkowski, Director of UN Global Compact Poland in a consultative meeting on the problem of air pollution. The meeting was held at the CHR Office and was attended by representatives of NGOs from many Polish cities, the Supreme Audit Office, municipal authorities of Kraków and Warsaw, and the media [more].

The third sector’s relations with the government: the way they look, and the way they should look – a discussion with NGOs representatives

The government plans to introduce changes in its relations with non-governmental organizations. It has also proposed the establishment of a new institution: the National Centre for Civil Society Development. Those activities have been, however, criticized by social organizations. In connection with their doubts, Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar invited representatives of non-governmental organizations to discuss the third sector’s relationships with the government, including the structure and system of work of the announced National Centre for Civil Society Development [more].

"A judge and the Constitution: the crisis in the Constitutional Tribunal’s work, and distributed control of the law’s consistence with the Constitution” was the title of the conference, held on 3 March  in Katowice. The event was attended by deputy CHR Stanisław Trociuk

- The current Constitutional Tribunal crisis has a direct influence on the work of the Commissioner of Human Rights. The paralysis of the Tribunal’s work translates into the CHR’s attempts to find other measures to protect citizens’ rights and liberties, emphasized Stanisław Trociuk. The Commissioner’s deputy also stressed that every common court not only may, but is required to refuse to apply a legal regulation that is inconsistent with the international law (e.g. the Charter of Fundamental Rights). - The Constitution contains a broad scope of reserves to which we may refer in such situations, added Trociuk. Nearly a thousand persons from across Poland, representing different legal professions, registered to take part in the conference. Among the panellists and invited guests were, among others, Małgorzata Gersdorf, the first president of the Supreme Court, Marek Safjan, a judge of the EU Court of Justice, Stanisław Biernat, Vice President of the Constitutional Tribunal, we well as Ewa Łętowska and Andrzej Zoll [more].

Loans in Swiss francs: a summary of the first stage of the information campaign carried out by the CHR and the Financial Ombudsman

Since January, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Financial Ombudsman have been conducting a joint information campaign for persons who took loans denominated in Swiss francs. In nine Polish cities, the campaign meetings were held. In total, they were attended by about 1700 citizens. Each of the meetings gathered from 100 to 300 people. The scale of the interest in the presented information was beyond our expectations [more]. The last meeting was held in Szczecin. All the meetings were held in towns/cities in which CHR branch offices / consultation points are located.

The Financial Ombudsman, whose office was established in 2015, may support citizens in their complaints relating to financial institutions, including the provision of assistance in connection with court proceedings. To qualify for such assistance, the citizen is required to have filed a complaint to his/her bank. The CHR meetings have shown, however, that people do not know how to do it. Meanwhile, the government has withdrawn from its plans to introduce legislation to regulate the issue of loans in Swiss francs, indicating that court proceedings are the best method to solve the problems.


The case of Mr Piotr: the CHR files a case with the District Administrative Court with regard to the withdrawal of funding for a disabled person by the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities. A company owner used a subsidy for persons with disabilities, and before he had an accident, he was a user of an ordinary subsidy. As a result, the subsidy for him as a disabled person was withdrawn [more].

A dramatic event at a Youth Detention Centre: the Commissioner investigates the case on-site [more].

The CHR monitors the criminal proceeding against police officers from the Olsztyn police station [more].

An under-age female at a Youth Detention Centre begs for help: the Commissioner intervenes [more].

The CHR’s intervention with regard to a prisoner’s case [more].


A non-delivery notice left in a person’s letterbox should be precise: A non-delivery notice relating to court correspondence should bear the person’s current name, concluded the Supreme Court following a proceeding in which the CHR participated. The case related to a woman for whom a non-delivery notice, bearing her maiden name only, was left. The common court had concluded that the notice was delivered correctly [more].

The CHR’s inquiry to the Minister of Justice with regard to the application of regulations which make it possible to suspend the substitutive penalty of imprisonment [more].

The CHR: persons who are users of renewable energy sources should be concerned eligible for the lump sum subsidy for heating fuel, which subsidy is paid as part of the housing allowance [more].

Transport of patients of psychiatric hospitals and wards beyond the area of such facilities: how should it be done? The CHR writes to the Minister of Health [more].

Application to the Minister of Justice with regard to patient’s compulsory detention in the National Centre for Preventing Dissocial Behaviours at the stage of a proceeding which follows the Supreme Court’s judgement reversing a court verdict and demanding case re-examination [more].


What is the level of awareness of equal treatment issues in Poland? Data is presented by the Commissioner on the occasion of the “ Zero Discrimination Day” [more].

The CHR protests against racist threats relating to a refugee who lives in Warsaw [more].

The CHR took part in the School of Dialogue closing gala [report and the CHR’s speech text]