Efficient functioning of the justice system in emergency situations
The Ministry of Justice is monitoring the situation in common court on an ongoing basis and is in close contact with the Presidents of Appeal Courts. Today, it has recommended measures concerning a rotating system of work in courts and proposals of measures aimed at maintaining procedural time limits in connection with the limitation of work of courts.
The Ministry of Justice has also developed draft amendment to the Act on counteracting and combating coronavirus, which will allow efficient functioning of the justice system in emergency situations in which due to, for example, a quarantine a given common court will be completely closed.
Changes will allow the Presidents of Appeal Courts, and if it is impossible – the First President of the Supreme Court to designate other operating courts to continue urgent cases. It will also be possible to delegate immediately judges to these courts to support their staff.
These changes will also apply to administrative and military courts.
The amendment specifies in detail the kind of cases which are deemed to be urgent and with respect to which such extraordinary decisions may be taken – they are, for example, cases concerning minors, domestic violence or temporary arrest.
At the same time, the Ministry of Justice emphasises that neither the minister nor any office may take a decision on suspension or limitation of work of courts. Such decisions rest with, for example, the president of a court and new provisions do not change anything in this scope.
Regardless of measures concerning the above issues, the draft amendment also assumes the regulation of the course of procedural and substantive time limits as well as the form of some legal relationships in the period of the epidemiological situation.
Detailed proposals of amendments to the Polish Act on extraordinary measures aimed at preventing, counteracting and combating COVID-19, other infectious diseases and the crisis situations caused by them have already been submitted to the Ministry of Development, which coordinates all works connected with the amendment to the Act.
At the same time, the Ministry of Justice emphasises that neither the minister nor any office may take a decision on suspension or limitation of work of courts and the suspension of the course of procedural and substantive time limits. They must be regulated by legislative means.
The Ministry of Justice thanks the Presidents of all courts for their cooperation and efficient actions and employees of courts, parties and representatives for understanding and forbearance, as well as asks all representatives of the justice system for further cooperation during this difficult time.
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Ministry of Justice