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Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 4 - 11 July 2016

Newsletter 4 – 11 July 2016

MOST IMPORTANT MATTERS

The Commissioner for Human Rights challenges the Anti-Terrorism Act before the Constitutional Tribunal

Although the purpose of the act is laudable, it contains legal errors. Therefore, it runs counter to the Constitution, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms - on July 11 the Commissioner for Human Rights challenged the act before the Constitutional Court [learn more].

[SEE ALSO: dr Anna Surówka-Pasek responds on behalf of the Chancellery of the President, why President Andrzej Duda had to sign the Anti-terrorism Act]

Commissioner challenges the provisions on trade in agricultural property before the Constitutional Tribunal

The act was written in violation of the principles of good legislation, hence the decisions and unintended consequences that harm the citizens. Therefore, the Commissioner challenged the act. The Commissioner is planning further applications, in which he will present other substantive allegations concerning the act [learn more].

The Commissioner to the Marshal of the Sejm: the draft law on the Constitutional Tribunal adopted in the Sejm raises serious constitutional objections and violates citizens' rights

The Commissioner for Human Rights listed the main constitutional reservations and doubts concerning the amendment of the Constitutional Tribunal Act, currently under preparation [learn more].

The loneliness of the Constitution

– The Constitution is worth defending, regardless of one's political opinions. It is all about our "common good", about the rights and freedoms which should not be solely dependent on unrestricted political will – the Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar writes in his comment for Onet.pl [full article].

Report on the activity of the Commissioner for Human Rights in 2015

The Constitution requires the Commissioner for Human Rights to submit annual activity reports [Activity report for 2015].

[SEE ALSO: the Senate Human Rights, the Rule of Law and Petitions Committee unanimously adopted the report of the Commissioner for Human Rights for 2015]

After the beating of foreign students in Bydgoszcz – the Police explains its activities in the matter

In response to the Commissioner's motion, the Voivodeship Police Commander in Bydgoszcz informs about what is happening in the case of the assault on Erasmus+ students in Bydgoszcz [learn more].

Interns from the Commissioner's Office ask researchers about bioethical issues

Internships for law students at the Commissioner's Office are underway. Prof. Ewa Bartnik, prof. Piotr Stępień and prof. Paweł Golik from the Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology at the Warsaw University told the interns and employees of the Commissioner's Office about the contemporary issues of genetics and biotechnology, and how large is the impact of science development on human rights [learn more].

THE COMMISSIONER IN CITIZENS' MATTERS

The Commissioner criticises the proposed legislation on confiscation of assets

In his motion to the Minister of Justice, the Commissioner pointed out serious doubts that arise in connection with the proposed amendment of the Penal Code concerning confiscation of assets [learn more].

The case of the G. family – The Commissioner motions to withhold the enforcement of the payment order

The couple's property is currently auctioned, even though the litigation is pending on whether the basis is well founded. This is not a typical case, and the Commissioner has joined it [learn more].

The rights of persons residing in nursing homes

Is direct coercion permitted in 24/7 care institutions ran as a business? The Commissioner approaches the Minister of Family, Labour and Social Policy in this matter [learn more].

Should an employer pay social insurance contributions for contracts they are not party to?

The Commissioner presented his position in the proceedings before the Constitutional Tribunal concerning the application lodged by Konfederacja Lewiatan [learn more].

Financing employees' accommodation

The tax effects of funding the cost of accommodation of so-called mobile employees by the employer – this is the topic of the Commissioner's motion to the Minister of Finance [learn more].

Aid for young farmers

The Commissioner has once more approached the Minister of Agriculture in relation to the criterion requiring KRUS (Agricultural Social Insurance Fund) insurance in order for young farmers to obtain financial assistance to start a business [learn more].

The Constitutional Tribunal: a temporal limitation on ZUS's ability to request the repayment of unduly paid benefits is necessary

The lack of a time limit restricting the ability to request the repayment of unduly paid sums by the ZUS creates the risk of a situation, in which the insured person will be confronted with the results of official verification of past legal events only after several years [learn more].

The Commissioner calls for the amendment of the provisions on pension calculation for people receiving early retirement.

This is the result of numerous complaints from citizens, as well as the effect of a regional meeting in Łódź [learn more].

Art schools respect the right of parents to repeat the 2nd grade by children born in the second half of 2007.

Children born in the second half of 2008 may repeat 2nd grade at their parents' request. However, this provision does not apply to students of art schools. The Commissioner intervened on their behalf and the Minister of Culture explained that although there are no such provisions, headmasters of art schools have been informed of the problem [learn more].

Why can't I conduct football competitions for seniors, when I'm a senior myself?

A man of 65 was prevented from conducting football competitions for seniors and limited in his authority to perform the duties of an observer. After the Commissioner's motion, the Polish Football Association is considering amending the provisions [learn more].

SOCIETY

Working conditions for nurses

How to improve the working conditions of nurses and make more people want to work in this profession – the Minister of Health responds to the motion of the Commissioner [learn more].

CCTV in schools

The matter of CCTV in schools and other educational establishments must be regulated immediately. The Commissioner approached the Minister of National Education in this matter [learn more].

Silesian Platform Against Hatred – what next?

The next challenge we face is to invite schools to participate in the "Zalogowani" contest and contribute to the Bank of Good Practices and Practitioners [learn more].

The fight against hate speech

After the dissolution of the Council for the Prevention of Discrimination, a new way to coordinate the actions of the authorities and social organisations is needed. The Commissioner approached the Minister of Digital Affairs and the Government Plenipotentiary for Civil Society and Equal Treatment in this matter [learn more].

Addressees of the "For your old age and ours!" campaign – UN structures

Which UN institutions are involved in the protection of the rights of the elderly, that is, who is the recipient of our opinion on the Convention on the Rights of the Elderly? [learn more].

CHRONICLE

The Commissioner for Human Rights' dr Maciej Lis Award – candidate applications until September 11

We'd like to invite you to nominate candidates to the Commissioner for Human Rights' dr Maciej Lis Award for special achievements in protecting the rights and interests of persons with disabilities [learn more].

Opening of the Customer Service Office in Słupsk

The Customer Service Office in Słupsk has been opened. The service point is located at the Citizen Service Centre (Centrum Obsługi Obywateli) created by the local self-government authorities of Słupsk in a manner fully corresponding to the needs of citizens. Adam Bodnar also met with the President of Słupsk Robert Biedroń and discussed the most important problems of the city [learn more]. The visit to Słupsk also allowed to organise a meeting with the residents of Słupsk and non-governmental organisations [learn more about the regional meeting], [learn more about the meeting with the experts of the Centre for Civic Initiatives in Słupsk].

Meeting at the Środkowopomorskie Centrum Zdrowia Psychicznego MEDiSON in Koszalin

On 8 July in Koszalin, Adam Bodnar discussed the benefits and problems of psychiatry reforms in Poland with persons undergoing the Open Dialogue therapy, psychiatry experts and members of the "Przystań" Association [learn more].

The Commissioner at the "Media and Arts" Festival in Darłowo

– The crimes of the Communist authority have to be investigated, as it gives the victims a chance for their harm not to be forgotten. The experience and memory of the victims is extremely important from the point of view of human rights – said Adam Bodnar during the debate about settling Communist crimes [learn more]. The Commissioner also participated in a discussion on the role of the Constitution [learn more].

The matter of family courts

A meeting of the representatives of the associations of judges, including judges from family courts, with the Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar took place on 5 June 2016 in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights [learn more].

The Commissioner for Human Rights in social media 

We invite you to watch and subscribe to the channel of the Commissioner for Human Rights on YouTube.  There you will find, among others, reports from regional meetings and conversations with employees of the Office of the Commissioner. We also encourage you to visit the profile of Regional Meetings with the Commissioner for Human Rights on Facebook.