Poland is in transition from an inquisitorial system to an adversary. The inquisitorial system is a court system that uses a judge or panel of judges to determine guilt and sentence. The adversary system uses a jury to determine guilt and lawyers gather evidence to convince said guilt and judges decide sentence. Poland’s trial process works by police first filling a report and then starting their investigation. If the police arrest a suspect they can detain him or her for up to 48 hours. Within those 48 hours the prosecutor must file a motion to the court in order to keep the suspect for an extended period of time. The court then has 24 hours from the filing of the prosecutor’s motion to decide whether or not to keep the suspect in custody. The court can decide to hold a suspect for up to three months with the option to extend that term later.
If the suspect is arrested for a crime where the penalty longer than is eight years in prison or the prosecutor is concerned the suspect may flee or a witness might be bribed or induced then the person may be put in custody during the investigation. If the maximum sentence is less than eight years then the suspect does not have to be held in custody and bail is possible.
Trials in Poland move slowly. There are many hearing and the trial does not occur in one continuous sitting. Instead the trial into many segments spread over a long period of time. The process can take months or years. There is no jury, rather trials are heard by a panel of judges. Lesser petty crimes are heard by a judge and two Polish citizens. Both panels work to determine guilt or innocence and determine sentence.
An example of how the Polish court system works is a case in 2012 involving bribery by IBM. In 2012 Polish prosecutors arrested IBM employee Marcin Figiel for bribing Polish politician Andrejz Machnacz for government contracts. More evidence of bribery by IBM showed up in April of 2013. Because the court process is so long and drawn out Poland’s anti-corruption bureau, the CBA, they just obtained permission to storm IBM office in July of 2016.
The fact that Poland is transitioning from an inquisitorial system to an adversary system shows that the people and government of Poland are not happy with the inquisitorial system. The adversary system leaves the decision up to a society and Poland sees this. It has problems, but through the transition from an inquisitorial system to an adversary system the positive qualities of the inquisitorial system may be kept.
“INFORMATION FOR CRIME VICTIMS ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS IN POLAND AMERICAN EMBASSY WARSAW, POLANDThe Information Included in This Flyer on Legal.” INFORMATION FOR CRIME VICTIMS ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS IN POLAND AMERICAN EMBASSY WARSAW, POLANDThe Information Included in This Flyer on Legal, photos.state.gov/libraries/poland/123049/pdfs/information.pdf.
Alsin, Arne. “Is There Another Bribery Case Brewing In IBM Poland?” Seeking Alpha, Worm Capital, LLC, 30 Nov. 2016, seekingalpha.com/article/4027310-another-bribery-case-brewing-ibm-poland.