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Prosecution and Prosecutors in Poland: In Quest of Independence (From Prosecutors and Politics: A Comparative Perspective, P 75-116, 2012, Michael Tonry, ed. - See NCJ-242458)

NCJ Number
Krzysztof Krajewski
Date Published
42 pages
This paper examines the prosecutorial system in Poland.
The Polish procuracy has developed only since the nation regained statehood in 1918. Before World War II, following the French model, it was subordinate to the Ministry of Justice. Under the communist system, although theoretically independent, it was organized according to the Soviet example and subservient to the Communist Party. After the fall of communism, the procuracy partly returned to its prewar structure; however it is haunted by ghosts from its communist past. One crucial problem concerns political independence. Although in theory procurators are career professional appointed on merit, the procuracy has never obtained real independence from political influence and has been plagued by the consequences of being subordinate to the Ministry of Justice. This was reinforced by the mentality of individual procurators "socialized" into the values of the communist procuracy and transmitting their professional ideology to younger generations. Recent reforms aim to provide greater independence. A second problem relates to the particularities of the continental system of criminal procedure, in which the procuracy is both n investigating and a prosecuting agency subject to a "principle of mandatory prosecution" that produces mechanical and sometimes perverse results. (Published Abstract)