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Supreme Court rules about suspension of conditional pre-trial detention

The Supreme Court has recently ruled on an important issue of law, namely the question whether it is possible to suspend the execution of a conditional pre-trial detention order after a financial surety is given. The highest Polish court refused to adopt a resolution, holding that the Commissioner for Human Rights did not present sufficient jurisprudential discrepancies in support of his motion.

In 2014, the HFHR approached the Commissioner in relation with the case of R.Ś., a man subject to a conditional pre-trial detention order. Despite the fact that his family paid the surety requested by the court, Ś. was not released from detention. “At that time we asked the CHR to consider if the suspension of execution of a conditional pre-trial detention order – if at all possible – is a de facto additional extension of this preventive measure’s term, which should be challengeable by means of an interlocutory appeal”, says Piotr Kubaszewski, a lawyer working with the HFHR. “A similar situation appeared in the case of detention of Marcin D. ordered by the District Court for Kraków-Śródmieście”, Mr Kubaszewski adds. In effect, the CHR reviewed the relevant case law and then petitioned the Supreme Court to explain the ensuing discrepancies.

Although the Court refused to issue a resolution, it commented on the issue at hand. The Supreme Court noted that provision of a financial surety and the actual payment of the surety’s amount are two different things. According to the Court, financial surety is provided upon the submission of the record of its acceptance together with all the required elements that should be included in the record. “By saying so, the Supreme Court acknowledged that a conditional pre-trial detention order may be suspended until a suspect or the accused delivers the record of the surety’s submission. The actual payment of a sum of money has no significance for the purpose of this process”, Mr Kubaszewski explains.

However, if the court competent to hear an interlocutory appeal against conditional detention orders detention of a suspect or the accused already after pre-trial detention is replaced with a non-custodial measure (which happens after the surety is provided for the record), then the court would need to issue a pre-trial detention order, which may be challenged with an interlocutory appeal.

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