Duties imposed under 207§1 of Polish Criminal Code in district courts’ judicature Cover Image
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Obowiązki nakładane na osoby skazane z art. 207 § 1 k.k. w orzecznictwie sądów rejonowych
Duties imposed under 207§1 of Polish Criminal Code in district courts’ judicature

Author(s): Grzegorz Wrona
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Instytut Nauk Prawnych PAN

Summary/Abstract: The article contains an analysis of district court sentences which included protective and re-straining orders under article 72§1 of Polish Criminal Code (hereinafter referred to as PCC) on perpetrators of harassment punishable under article 207§1 of PCC. Because of the character of the crime of harassment, the main part of the article concerns orders of refraining from contacts with victims and of leaving the common place of residence. The article contains analysis and conclusions of a research of cases which ended in a decree absolute in 2008 – 2009 and concerned prosecution under article 207§1 of the Code. The research, completed in 2010, was conducted in eleven district courts, all of them subordinate to different courts of appeals. The results of the research show a significant divergence in the manner of sentencing restraining orders throughout the country. One may notice the extremes of the approach, particularly as far as the order of leaving the common place of residence is concerned. As a result, the courts use such opportunity only in a few percent of the cases where such orders can be sentenced. It is hard to speak of any line of sentencing with such a small number of cases. Meanwhile, the legislator amended the Act on Family Violence Prevention with the view on the duties imposed under article 72§1 of PCC. As a result of this amendment, two changes were introduced. The first consisted in distinguishing correctional and educational actions in section 6a. The second concerned the order of refraining from contacts with the victim in section 7a of the said article which was extended by adding a restraining order of staying away at a minimum distance from the victim. At the same time the legislator did not take into account the doubts expressed by the doctrine about possibility of successful enforcement of orders under sections 7a and 7b (order to leave the common place of residence). The conclusions of the article concern the necessity of more frequent interpretation of duties under article 72§1 sections 7a and 7b PCC by the courts and, as a consequence, of es-tablishing a uniform and consistent judicature in sentencing such restraining orders. It is sug-gested that this can be achieved if the guidelines by Polish Attorney General on preliminary proceedings in family violence cases include an instruction for the prosecutors to apply to courts for such restraining orders. This way, the courts of law will be obliged to take a stance on such motions and a chance to standardise the manner of sentencing them will arise.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: XXXIII
  • Page Range: 213-226
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish