Strasbourg, 1 February 2006
Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE)
Questionnaire on “The role of judges in striking a balance between protecting the public interest and human rights in the context of terrorism”: reply submitted by the delegation of Poland
Answers to the questionnaire on : “The role of judges in striking a balance between protecting the public interest and human rights in the context of terrorism”
A.1. Polish Ministry of Justice has been organizing several forms of training in European and international law for the judges. The number of seminars and conferences on this topic, organized during the year 2005 is 10 . About 500 judges took part in those meetings. 7 seminars have the topic “ Cooperation between the national judges and the ECJ”. 1 seminar’s theme was the latest jurisprudence of the ECJ. Another 2 meetings were organized to talk about the problems of the international judicial cooperation. There are about 9.000 judges in Poland working active in different courts.
A.2. The information on recent legislation and case-law at the European and international levels is distributed among the judges in several ways. The European and international sources of law are a part of a computer program called “Lex” which is installed in the computer systems of the courts. Every judge has a possibility to get into this system from his office. The European and international case-law is provided to the judges by the Ministry of Justice, which sends the copies of the important sentences to the local courts. There is a special monthly magazine – “European Judicial Review” which deals with the topic of the European and international jurisprudence. It is available in the courts.
A.3. Foreign language courses are organized free of charge by the Ministry of Justice for the judges working as the contact points of the European Judicial Network. There is a list of official interpreters in every regional court.
B.1,2. The national office of the Council of Europe in Warsaw organizes a special seminar on the application of the European Convention on Human Rights in the Polish legal system. A part of this project is a visit of the participating judges at the European Court of Human Rights and a meeting with the judges of this Court. The regional courts organize frequently visits of the judges at the European Courts of Human Rights and European Court of Justice to enable them a closer contact with the judges of these Courts and a better understanding of the problems rising during their judicial activity.
C.1. The European Convention on Human Rights, EU treaties and other international treaties are the official sources of law in Polish constitutional system. Art.87 of the Polish Constitution: “ The sources of law in Poland are (...) ratified international treaties.”
The case-law of the both European Courts is not the source of law in the Polish legal system. However it plays an important role in the process of law interpretation.
C.2. In the case described in this question, the courts would be obliged to change the interpretation of certain provisions in aim to harmonize them with the judgments of the European Courts.
C.3. In such a situation both remedies described in this question are available for the parties. A special legal proceeding aimed for checking the reasonable time requirement and connected with it claims for compensation has been introduced into the Polish legal system lately.
D.1, 2, 3. There are no specific procedural measures applicable for cases, where a suspicion about terrorism exists. These cases are examined in a regular criminal proceeding. The same principle exists in administrative law, deportation regulations and provisions of the preventive actions. There is no special substantive anti-terrorism act in Polish law. Several regulations dealing with terrorism have been incorporated into the Polish Penal Code over last years.