Polish Law Under Review

The Venice Commission will arrive in Warsaw, Poland for the meetings on Thursday and Friday, April 28 and 29, 2016 to talk to the officials and check if the recent amendments to the Law of Police comply with the law.

It will be the second visit of The Venice Commission, which is the advisory body for the European Council in Poland in the last few months. The first one was related to the amendment to the Constitutional Court law. For the first time, Polish Interior Minister, Witold Waszczykowski, has invited the Commission.

This time, the opinion on the amendments was requested by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in January 2016. The members from Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and two Secretariat officials will take part in the delegation.

The meetings planned for Thursday and Friday are in the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior and Administration, Parliament and Senate, The Polish Bar Council, and with NGO officials, Minister-Coordinator of Special Forces Mariusz Kamiński and the Ombudsman Adam Bodnar.

The amendment is an execution of sentence of Constitutional Court from July 2014 when the court has decided that some ways of acquiring telecommunication, internet and post data don’t comply with the Constitution.
On January 15, the Parliament has accepted the amendment with the objection from the entire opposition and two weeks later the Senate has accepted it without any changes. The President signed it on February 3, and the new law started to work from February 7. The sentence of the Constitutional Court became valid the day before.

According to the new law, the invigilation can involve (after a court’s agreement): wiretapping, espial of people in the premises, means of transportation and places other than public, control of the correspondence (also the electronic), deliveries and acquisition of IT data. The maximum time of spying in total is 18 months (except for the counter-intelligence).

The services now can have access online to the electronic data, for many different reasons like preventing or discovering the crime, saving the life or support research or realization of statutory tasks.

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