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Publication

JUSTICIA letter to the President of Poland on new amendment to criminal code

August 14, 2019 - Justicia
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The members of the JUSTICIA European Rights Network (a coalition of the European leading civil liberties organizations working on the right to a fair trial) express their deep concerns in a letter to the President of Poland regarding the compatibility of a new amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure with international law standards, since the proposed changes will allow public authorities to arbitrarily deprive individuals of liberty and their right to appeal against conviction.

Under the amendment, public prosecutors will have a final say in some cases concerning pre-trial detention. Moreover, the adopted amendment will also allow appeal courts to sentence a person whom a first instance court had previously conditionally discontinued criminal proceedings and imposed probation measures. Furthermore, the amended CCP will not provide for any possibility for such a person to appeal their conviction.

Finally, the adopted amendment will, in some extraordinary cases, allow criminal courts to conduct the evidentiary proceedings without the presence of both the defendant and the defence counsel, even when their absence is justified.

The JUSTICIA European Rights Network considers that none of the solutions adopted in the amendment can be reconciled with the requirements of the right to a fair trial.

Read the letter to the President of Poland here.

 

Members of the JUSTICIA European Rights Network are: Open Society Justice Initiative, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, Croatian Law Center, Civil Rights Defenders, Res Publica, Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Greek Helsinki Monitor, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Czech League of Human Rights, Statewatch, Human Rights Centre, KISA, Antigone, Human Rights Monitoring Institute, Netherlands Helsinki Committee, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, APADOR, The Peace Institute, Rights International Spain.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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