IHRC - INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION


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Waldemar Wierzycki

MONITORING > Court Watcher

"Mr.Waldemar Wierzycki court watcher and negotiator from the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), mediation expert.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is an international treaty which protects the right to: life, liberty and security, respect for private and family life, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience and active and passive freedom of electoral rights, but also to a fair trial in civil and criminal matters.

The presence of an court watcher in the courtroom gives you three important things:
1. Mental support for a person who comes to court and can talk about the existing rules of the court.
2. They exercise a form of social control over the judiciary. The judiciary, like every sphere of life, needs control, it is undeniable, citizens, because they finance the courts of their taxes they have the right to do so. They thus influence the behavior of the judges who are better prepared for trials when they know that the court watcher will visit them.
3. Collect data - on what the judiciary looks like, thanks to this we can talk about it and compare certain processes to protect human rights.

Results of available studies on the functioning of the judiciary, the most important obstacles in better implementation of the right to a court in Poland are:
1. The ability to effectively delay the final resolution of the case in time.
according to 48% of Poles, protractedness is one of the three most important problems of the Polish judiciary;
in the matter of coping with lengthiness, Polish courts received twice lower scores than in all other areas examined by World Justice Project, including the voice of experts - legal practitioners.
2. The procedure for appointing and promoting judges that threatens independence:
only 35% of judges examined by the European Networks of Councils for the Judiciary
stated that promotion to courts of higher instance takes place in Poland only on the basis of substantive criteria.
3. The possibility of pressure from other judges threatening independence:
48% of judges examined by the European Networks of Councils for the Judiciary admitted that the court leadership put a pressure on them to adjudicate on specific cases at a given time;
13% of the judges admitted that they had to adjudicate according to the guidelines of the same judges.
4. The lack of a transparent and objective procedure for the assignment of civil matters to the competent court:
7% of judges examined by the European Networks of Councils for the Judiciary admitted that they knew cases of assigning cases to judges in a way that would affect the outcome.
5. Insufficient use of professional legal assistance:
only 1.3% of spending on justice in Poland is allocated to legal aid to those in need and is one of the lowest. The relatively highest proportion of legal aid in the judiciary budget is allocated in the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland (51.2%), England and Wales (43.3%). Of the continental European countries, Norway (44%), Sweden (24.3%), the Netherlands (20.8%) and Finland (16,8%) achieved the highest.

At present, the challenge for Poland is to change the mentality of the clerical and tax apparatus in particular. Poland still has huge and not perceived problems by the decision-makers with respect for taxpayers' rights. A citizen, especially a taxpayer citizen, has not been treated by administration properly. The terrible quality of tax law is known for its complexity and cyclical changes that pose problems even for lawyers. And of course, neither regulations nor tax officials can set traps on citizens. And regulations, especially for ordinary citizens, must be clear, understandable and logical to be respected.
Moreover, only less than 0.2% of court cases in Poland go to mediation despite the fact that

foreign and domestic experience clearly indicate the effectiveness of mediation for both the parties to the conflict and the administration of justice as a whole."

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