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Fiches Belges: Poland

Superficial body search (301)



Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

The measure is possible in Poland under International Judicial Cooperation. Under Polish provisions a search of a person, their clothing and objects at hand may be carried out in order to find objects which might serve as evidence in a case or be subject to seizure in criminal proceedings, if there is a good reason to suppose that the objects are to be located on a person’s body. The measure may concern a witness, an injured person, and a suspect as well. The suspect is to a wider extent obliged to undergo a search of his/her body than other parties in criminal proceedings. A superficial body search may be conducted by a public prosecutor, or, under a decision issued by a court or a public prosecutor, by the Police or other bodies specified in the law. In practice superficial body search is usually conducted by the police in preliminary proceedings after a decision of a public prosecutor has been issued. In cases of utmost urgency, if the decision of a public prosecutor could not be issued, the police officer carrying out the search shall present an order of the manager of their unit or an official ID card, and then without delay shall request the public prosecutor to approve the search.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters 1959 and its protocols - Council Act of 29 May 2000 establishing in accordance with Article 34 of the Treaty on European Union the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union (MLA 2000) - Convention on Laundering, Search, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds from Crime, Strasburg, 08.11.1990, - Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of terrorism, Warsaw, 16.05.2005 - Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA of 22 July 2003 on the execution in the UE of orders freezing property or evidence



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

District/Appellate Prosecutor’s Offices (pre-trial stage) and District/Appellate Courts (trial stage) on the territory of which the requested procedural actions are to be carried out

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

Apart from District/Appellate Prosecutor’s Offices and District/Appellate Courts the request concerning superficial body search might be executed by a regional prosecutor under supervision of a regional prosecutor; in practice the measure is usually carried out by the police at the request and under supervision of a public prosecutor or court



Accepted languages for the request/decision

Under traditional tools of international legal assistance (MLA 1959) the request concerning superficial body search and other documents being transmitted shall be accompanied by a translation into the Polish language or into an official language of the Council of Europe unless bilateral agreements provide otherwise. Under provisions of Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA a ruling issued by a competent judicial authority of another European Union Member State together with the required certificate shall be accompanied by a translation into the Polish language.



Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)

Under traditional tools of international legal assistance the request concerning superficial body search shall be executed promptly and without undue delay, taking into consideration procedural deadlines stipulated in the national law and the time limit specified in the request. Under provisions implemented into Polish law on the basis of Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA a decision of the competent court or public prosecutor on execution of the ruling of issuing Member State on retention of evidence or to secure property shall be issued without delay, if possible, within 24 hours as from receiving the ruling with the required certificate.



a. Special requirements

Under article 5 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters 1959 Poland made a reservation to the Secretary General that it reserves the right to make the execution of requests for search or seizure of property dependent on the conditions mentioned in Article 5, paragraph 1 (a) (b) (c) of the Convention. - Court’s decision (or another competent authority) of the requesting Member State on carrying out superficial body search is generally needed. - The measure may concern witnesses, suspects and persons being already charged. - A decision of a Polish court or public prosecutor on a superficial body search, may be contested by the persons whose rights have been breached.

b. Other useful information

- Polish law is applied to carry out the measure. However, the wish concerning the application of a special procedure or a special form of conduct should be complied with if it does not conflict the principles of the legal order of the Republic of Poland. - Assistance or participation of officials of the requesting State in the execution of the measure is possible if the competent executing authority consents.

Last reviewed on 6 July 2016 by EJN Secretariat
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