Godło RP

Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 8 - 12 October 2018


Freedom of assembly plays a fundamental role in democratic societies, and the state should ensure to citizens the possibility to safely enjoy this constitutional freedom. The Court of Appeal In Lublin annulled the prohibition to hold the Equality March in the city, and agreed with the CHR's arguments. (more)

In connection with the session of the Court of Appeal in Lublin, CHR Adam Bodnar could not take part in the conference in Kraków, entitled The 70th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He wrote in his letter to the participants: “At such moments, the role of the Commissioner for Human Rights as a body safeguarding human and civil rights and freedoms is to support the weakest ones. That is why, unfortunately, I cannot be with you today as I need to be in Lublin where the Court of Appeal will announce its judgment. By the time these words are read toy you, you will know whether the values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have won, or whether in Poland we are returning to the experiences relating to the "pink triangle". (full text of the letter)

Ms Iga was refused entry of the birth certificate of her son who is a child of a same-sex couple, into the Polish system of civil status documents registry. The Supreme Administrative Court agreed with the CHR’s arguments and concluded that the child who is a citizen of the Republic of Poland had been discriminated. The case was referred back to the civil registry office for reconsideration. (more)

Stanisława Łukasik, Róża Czempas, Krystyna Stopczyńska and Janina Gałwa from the association “Lekarze Nadziei” [Doctors for Hope] received the CHR’s award “For achievements in the field of human rights protection”. The awarded doctors have demonstrated how many people can be helped, and how many wounds can be healed when one focuses, in the first place, on man and not on procedures, emphasized CHR Adam Bodnar during the award ceremony. (more) m

The participants of a conference held at the University of Oxford spoke about the main problems facing the civil society, about hate speech and undermined ideals of human rights. Among the participants were: Hillary Clinton, Timothy Garthon Ash, Anna Applebaum, Adam Bodnar, Osai Ojigho, and Erzgi Basaran. (more)


The National Broadcasting Council does not plan to monitor the current election campaign conducted on TV but is analysing possible violations that are reported, in the form of complaints or information, by individual election committees as well as public media viewers and listeners. This reply was provided to the CHR’s question about the Council’s activities in the field of maintaining the public media’s impartiality during the election campaign. (more)

A school operating within a Youth Correctional Institution may admit a student who no longer lives in the institution but, according to a specialist opinion, requires special education due to his/her social maladjustment. If the school has free places and the school managing authority has given its consent, the student may be admitted to the school, replied the Ministry of Education to the CHR’s inquiry. (more)

Carers of persons with disabilities may switch from the carer benefit (520 zł) to the allowance for carers of persons who become disabled when they were over 18 years of age or 25 years of age (1477 zł). In order to do so, the carers should give up the benefit and officially apply for the allowance, adjudicated the Supreme Administrative Court in the case to which the CHR was a party. (more)

The government has replied to the CHR with regard to the measures implemented in order to de-institutionalize the care system for senior persons and persons with disabilities. According to the Ministry for Family, the National Deinstitutionalization Programme is not required because other instruments are already used. Every year, 900 people leave social welfare homes and start living in their local communities. (more)

At the cinema in the Municipal Cultural Centre in Rabka-Zdrój, the "Kler" movie by Wojciech Smarzowski will probably not be shown despite the interest of the inhabitants. (more) At the Kino Metalowiec cinema in Kraśnik, tickets for this movie are more expensive than for others, and additionally an age limit has been introduced. (more) The CHR wrote letters to the mayor of Rabka-Zdrój and the director of the Culture and Promotion Centre in Kraśnik reminding this may raise doubts from the point of view of freedom of artistic creation and the right of access to culture.


A prosecutor’s office may not require the annulment of a lawyer’s or journalist’s obligation to maintain secrecy, e.g. because such offce is not independent of executive authorities today. In this way the Commissioner for Human Rights justified his opinion against the possibility for prosecutors, instead of courts, to annul the obligation to maintain professional secrecy. (more)

Amounts necessary for sole traders to maintain themselves should be exempted from seizure by bailiffs, replied the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Technology to the Commissioner's letter which indicated that the "Business constitution" laws do not provide for any exemptions for such persons. (more)

The excessive duration of court proceedings is an increasingly common problem. The reason is the lack of staff –judges and trainee judges in common courts. In the opinion of judges, this results from the fact that several hundred judicial positions have been “frozen”, and from the constant changes that take place in the laws that govern the judiciary sector. The Commissioner has written to the Minister of Justice with regard to the matter once again. (more)

There will be an investigation concerning incitement to hatred on the grounds of national and racial differences, and the propagation of the totalitarian system of state on the website of the ONR organization. The court has annulled the decision refusing to initiate such an investigation by the Warsaw prosecutor's office, as requested by the Commissioner for Human Rights. (more)

A citizen will get, from the relevant authority, copies of documents included in the case file kept for his/her proceedings before the authority. The documents will be provided within technical and organizational capabilities of the institution. This has been ruled by seven judges of the Supreme Administrative Court following the legal question by the Commissioner for Human Rights. (more)


A court should have the possibility to conduct its session in a psychiatric facility if the session concerns the extension of stay, in the facility, of a perpetrator of an offence, suggested the CHR. This would be consistent with the Constitutional Tribunal’s judgment according to which such a perpetrator should have the possibility to take part in such court sessions. (more)

A convict was subjected to frequent personal checks by the Prison Service, not only after being visited by other persons, but also after physiotherapy that took place in the detention facility. Also, during his stay in a separate cell, he was not able to contact his lawyer on the telephone. The Commissioner partly agreed with the convict’s complaint, and requested the Director of the Regional Prison Service Unit to eliminate the irregularities. (more)

Three years ago, the UN General Assembly adopted the so-called Nelson Mandela rules i.e. recommendations whose main goal is to improve the situation of prisoners around the world. The Commissioner has inquired the Ministry of Justice about the analysis of Poland’s compliance with the rules, which was planned to be carried out in 2015. (more)

A prisoner wanted to send his artwork for a charity action. The prison director refused the prisoner’s request to have the artwork pieces packed, and the refusal was not justified in writing. According to the CHR, participation in charity actions reflects the prisoner’s effort towards social re-adaptation and reintegration, which should have been supported by the prison administration. As the  refusal was not justified, the prisoner had no possibility to reply to its reasoning. (more)


On 8 October, employees of the CHR Office carried out workshops on human rights for young people and senior persons in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, and provided legal consultations. The meeting was held at the invitation of the Civic Activity Centre. (more)

On 10 October 2018, problems related to pain management, including access to perinatal anaesthesia and medical marijuana, were discussed at the 6th meeting of the Expert Committee on Health, which supports the CHR. (more)