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Poland has not yet enforced ECtHR judgment on nursing home placements

In 2012, the European Court of Human Rights delivered the judgment in the case of Kędzior v. Poland. The matter concerned the involuntary placement of an incapacitated person at a nursing home. The ECtHR ruled that this was a violation of the Convention. Despite the passage of three years, the judgement has not yet been enforced. The HFHR commented on the case in statements sent to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

The first statement discusses individual measures taken by the Government. The HFHR noted irregularities that affected the payment and disbursement of damages awarded by the Court to Mr Kędzior. The Foundation also emphasised that Polish authorities had not taken any steps in order to enable S. Kędzior to leave the nursing home.

In its second statement, the HFHR indicates that the Government has not amended the Mental Health Protection Act in a way that would follow the guidelines set in the ECtHR’s judgment. “The only document that authorities were able to develop within 36 months from the publication of the judgment is draft legislative guidelines for a law amending the Mental Health Protection Act, which would introduce certain procedural guarantees for incapacitated persons”, Marcin Szwed says.

The HFHR thinks that the draft should be considered only a first step towards a full guarantee of protection for persons with physical or mental disabilities. “In our opinion, the legislator should, above all, attempt to abolish legal incapacitation and de-institutionalise the system of assistance for persons with physical or mental disabilities”, Mr Szwed emphasises.

To read the statement addressing general measures, use this link.

The second statement, which involves individual measures, cannot be published because of personal data protection requirements.

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