Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 8-16 August 2016

Newsletter 8- 16 August 2016


Another application to the Constitutional Tribunal concerning the act on trade in agricultural property

The Commissioner submitted an application to the Constitutional Tribunal, in which he presented further reservations concerning the provisions of the act on trade in agricultural property. In his document of 12 August, the Commissioner seeks to examine the contested provisions in the context of constitutional guarantees of protection of property, the protection of inheritance and freedom of choice of place of residence and stay [learn more].

Provisions of the Constitutional Tribunal Act inconsistent with the Constitution – judgement of the CT

The Constitutional Tribunal delivered a judgement in the joint applications of groups of MPs and the Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the Constitutional Tribunal Act. The CT stated that a part of the contested provisions is inconsistent with the Basic Law [learn more].


The rights of minors in public offices

Can a 15-year-old receive a copy of his grandfather's death certificate in a Registry Office? According to some authorities it is impossible. The Commissioner filed an appeal in cassation before the Supreme Administrative Court [learn more]

500 PLN for parking at the seaside?

Parking fees that can reach up to 500 PLN per week are the result of leasing parking lots located in Gdańsk's seaside areas to a private company. The Commissioner requested the municipal authorities for an explanation [learn more].

The rights of patients in Lower Silesia

The Commissioner's Field Representative in Wrocław took the case of a patient, who was not examined by a physician in an outpatient clinic, in spite of severe abdominal pain. She was referred to a hospital, where the woman had to wait three hours [learn more]. The Representative is also examining the organisation of hospital emergency wards, because there have been information that patients transported by ambulances have to wait several hours before a physician examines them [learn more].

Can Pendolino operate without platforms for the disabled?

The carrier refused to let a disabled person in a wheelchair on board a Pendolino train. The reason was the failure of both platforms for people with disabilities. The Commissioner is examining, whether such a train could even hit the tracks [learn more].

The case of a vet helping homeless animals – the court upheld the Commissioner's arguments

The Provincial Administrative Court in Wrocław announced its judgements in cases initiated by the Commissioner's complaints to the decisions of the Lower Silesia Provincial Veterinary Officer in Wrocław. The cases concerned a veterinarian who was punished for helping homeless animals [learn more].

What if the Polish Post demands a fee for deregistered radio and TV sets?

As a results of the Commissioner's intervention, the Polish Post will reimburse a citizen of Lower Silesia for unduly collected fees for the broadcast receiving license [learn more].

Was a couple from Gdynia illegally deprived of their apartment?

The Commissioner is examining a matter of spouses who lost their apartment. They argue that they have signed an agreement for 50,000 PLN under pressure, although they received 30,000 PLN, and the studio apartment is worth 120,000 PLN [learn more].


Maternity care standards – the Commissioner's activities in this matter

One in every four childbirths in Podlasie is anaesthetized, whereas in Lubuskie – virtually none. According to the data collected by the Commissioner for Human Rights, it is caused by an insufficient number of anaesthesiologists [learn more].

Polluted environment – the Minister of the Environment provides explanations

The Minister of the Environment agreed with the diagnosis of the Commissioner for Human Rights concerning the need for additional efforts for improving air quality in Poland [learn more].

Who will amend the provisions on breath tests?

The Deputy Head of the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland informed the Commissioner about asking both the Minister of Health and the Minister of the Interior and Administration to present the problem of disambiguating the provisions concerning breath tests for drivers [learn more].

Counteracting terrorism

The Commissioner approached the Minister of the Interior and Administration for information about the efforts made to strengthen education on anti-terrorism and information policy [learn more].

Musicians from Podlasie against discrimination and exclusion

– Despite cultural and religious differences, we are all the same, because our hearts beat to the same rhythm, regardless of where we're from and what is the colour of our skin – as can be heard in the lyrics to the song "Hearts", created on the initiative of the band Roki from Podlasie. We encourage you to watch their music video [learn more]. 


Application to the Constitutional Tribunal concerning disciplinary proceedings against prosecutors

Providing the Disciplinary Proceedings Representative (subordinate to the Public Prosecutor General) with the capability to assess which actions of the prosecutors should not be punishable by disciplinary responsibility is inconsistent with the Constitution – the Commissioner for Human Rights pointed out in his application to the Constitutional Tribunal [learn more].

Previous judgements of the Constitutional Tribunal

The Government Legislation Centre published selected 21 judgements of the Constitutional Tribunal from all the past judgements. Among them are three socially significant cases initiated by the Commissioner: the judgement of 8 June, which deemed the provisions on B-category driving tests for the disabled unconstitutional, the judgement of 28 June, which declared the unconstitutionality of the provisions that do not allow incapacitated persons to examine whether they are confined in residential care homes for a legitimate reason, and the judgement of 28 June on the need to amend the provisions on enforcement costs [learn more].

When does the right to privacy end and where does the right to public information begin? – statement of reasons to the judgement of the Provincial Administrative Court

The full names of parties contracted by the Chancellery of the President should be publicly available – states the statement of reasons to the judgement of the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw. The Commissioner joined the proceedings.

Should the time limits for appeals be longer?

In some court cases, the statement of reasons to the judgement is so long, that it is virtually impossible to comply with the time limit for filing an appeal. The Ministry of Justice replied that, although it does notice the problem, there are no amendments planned in this matter. Now the Commissioner asked the President of the Supreme Bar Council and the President of the National Council of Legal Advisers for an opinion [learn more].

The Commissioner on FATCA

The Commissioner is receiving complaints from citizens, who have been obliged to provide statements due to the agreement between Poland and the US on the implementation of the FATCA legislation. The Commissioner presented his reservations before the Minister of Finance [learn more].

Work is pending on the act on court experts

The Justice Institutes is compiling the results of research concerning the assessment of operation of court experts in civil proceedings, therefore it is not yet known when will the work on the act on court experts conclude – Deputy Minister of Justice Marcin Warchoł responded to the Commissioner [learn more].

Will Poland regulate the matter of returning of cultural objects?

Poland has been called upon by the European Commission to fully implement the Directive on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State. The Commissioner approached the Minister of Culture and National Heritage with a question, whether legislative works on the matter have already been undertaken [learn more].