Fiches Belges
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Fiches Belges: Poland

Hearing victims/plaintiffs (707)



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

Yes. The hearing of a victim is conducted according to procedural provisions concerning the witness. Any person summoned as a witness shall turn up and testify. The witness who may not turn up for the hearing because of sickness, invalidity or another obstacle which may not be overcame may be heard in the place of his/her residence. The taking oral information on an offence , a request for prosecution and a testimony requires drawning up minutes . The course of the recordering procedure may be registered also with the help of equipment to record the picture or sound whereof the person participating in the procedure shall be warned. A victim may submit a request for a remedying damage or compensate for any injury. Polish law shall be applied to process procedures carried out at the request of a foreign judicial authority. However, the wish of these authorities to apply a particular mode of proceedings or a particular form while carrying out the procedures shall be satisfied, if this is not contradictory to the basic principles of legal order in Poland. On the express request the requested judicial authority shall state the date and place of execution of the letters rogatory. Official and interested persons may attend the taking evidence from a witness ( a victim) however their participation requires the consent of the requested authority. According to the Polish internal regulations the requested action – for instance the hearing of a victim - is executed by a prosecutor or by a court. The rules of Polish penal procedure concerning a civil plaintiff were repealed, therefore the hearing of a plaintiff is possible only before the civil court.



International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

a/ the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 ( with the Additional Protocols ) b/ still valid bilateral agreements between Poland and undermentioned countries: -Austria of 27.02.1978 -Austria of 2.06.2003 - Bulgaria of 4.12.1961 - Cyprus of 14.11.1996 - Czech Republic of 21.12.1987 - Estonia of 27.11.1998 - Finland of 27.05.1980 - Greece of 24.10.1979 - Germany of 17.07.2004 - Hungary of 6.03.1959 - Italy of 28.04.1989 - Lithuania of 26.01.1993 - Luxembourg of 22.01.1934 - Latvia of 23.02.1994 - Slovakia of 25.03.1997 - Sweden of 10.02.1989 c/ the Convention of 29 May 2000 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union with the Protocol of 16.10.2001



* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

a/ hearing a victim the Ministry of Justice in Warsaw, the General Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, the penal courts and the units of the prosecution service b/ hearing a plaintiff the Ministry of Justice in Warsaw, the civil courts

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

a/ hearing a victim the penal courts in the judicial proceedings or prosecutors in the pre-trial stage b/ hearing a plaintiff the civil courts



Accepted languages for the request/decision

The requests and attached documents shall be accompanied by their translation into Polish language or into an official language of the Council of Europe ( according to the reservation with regard the provisions in Article 16 paragraph 2 of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 ). The undermentioned bilateral agreements specify the language requirements that requests for mutual assistance have to meet: -Cyprus of 14.11.1996 –Polish or English languages, -Estonia of 27.11.1998- Polish, English or Russian languages, - Finland of 27.05.1980- Polish or English languages, - Germany of 17.07.2004 – Polish language, -Greece of 24.10.1979 –Polish or French languages, -Lithuania of 26.01.1993- Polish, English or Russian languages, -Latvia of 23.02.1994- Polish, English or Russian languages, -Sweden of 10.02.1989-Polish language.



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

The request for assistance shall be executed as soon as possible and be given priority , especially if marked by the requesting authority as urgent. The requesting authority shall explain the reasons for the deadline. If the request cannot be executed within the time limit set in it, the requested authority shall immediately inform the requesting authority. It will provide information on the new time limit.



a. Special requirements

In the cases related to offences against freedom, sexual liberty and decency and against family or duty of care , which were committed with using of violence or under illegal threat , the victim who at the moment of hearing was below 15 years of age may be heard only once and also if the testimony of this witness may have a crucial importance for the finding in the case, unless there were divulged important circumstances whose explanation requires a re-hearing . The hearing is conducted by a court with the participation of a psychologist. The prosecutor, defence counsel and representative of the victim may also take part in the hearing. In the case in which there is a doubt as to the mental condition of a witness ( a victim) , his/her intellectual development, his/her capacity to perceive or reconstruct his/her perceptions, the court or the prosecutor may hear the witness with the attendance of an expert physician or psychologist and the witness may not object thereto. The oath may be taken from a witness exclusively by the court or an assigned judge. A witness makes an oath before his/her testimony. If the requesting judicial authority desires witnesses to give evidence on oath, it shall expressly so request. In the case of the request for hearing of a victim or a plaintiff the list of questions shall be attached to the request.

b. Other useful information

If a victim or a plaintiff is warned on the her/his procedural rights and duties, the instruction with its translation into Polish should be enclosed to the request.

Last reviewed on 6 July 2016 by EJN Secretariat
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