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Senate’s amendment to prevent arrival of “superjudge prosecutors”

A prosecutor will not have authority to overthrow decisions of a first instance court, reads the Senate’s amendment to a draft law modifying the Courts Act that was brought forward on the Upper Chamber’s session of 15 November 2016. Earlier, there were plans to add such a provision to the government’s draft of the law on the complaint against the excessive length of the proceedings.

Let us remind our readers that at the final stage of legislative works the Council of Ministers added to the proposed law a regulation that enabled public prosecutors to apply to the court for the reassignment of a case to a prosecutor’s office in order to have preparatory proceedings complemented. This proposal did not envisage any option for appealing against the court’s decision. According to the proposal, the court is obliged to revoke the first instance ruling and re-assign the case to a prosecutor in order to have preparatory proceedings complemented whenever new important circumstances are revealed, it is necessary to search for new evidence or to perform other procedures whose purpose is to explain circumstances of the case. The HFHR has prepared a legal opinion on this legislative proposal.

The Sejm Committee for Justice and Human Rights has issued a positive opinion the Senate’s amendment. In the next session, the Sejm will vote on the modifications proposed by the Senate.

The Senate stated in a resolution that at the stage of jurisdictional proceedings it was the court, not the prosecutor who manages the proceedings. This status is exemplified by the court’s discretion to issue procedural decisions, argued the Upper Chamber. The Senate’s resolution can be read here.

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