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After nine months HFHR may disclose court’s order to prosecute refusal to publish Constitutional Tribunal’s judgment

Following our interlocutory appeal, the Helsinki Foundation has received a decision of the District Court for Warszawa-Śródmieście, which ordered that a prosecutor’s office should launch proceedings in the case concerning the refusal to publish the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal from 9 March 2016.

Until recently, no disclosure of this order was possible, the situation changed as soon as the document became public by way of the access to public information procedure.

The District Court’s order emphasises that “each decision issued by the Constitutional Tribunal is final … and should immediately be published…”. The Court also ordered the hearing of persons directly responsible for the publication of the Tribunal’s decisions, in order to establish their motives behind the refusal of publication.

Let us remind our readers, the Helsinki Foundation has appealed against the decision of a prosecutor delegated to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office of Warszawa-Praga in Warsaw, which refused the initiation of preparatory proceedings in the case of the government’s failure to publish the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 9 March 2016 (case no. K 47/15).The prosecutor wrote in the decision that the actions of the Prime Minister had not satisfied the statutory features of the offence of failing to discharge one’s duties (defined in article 231 (1) of the Criminal Code). According to the prosecutor’s office, the absence of publication did not cause any detriment to a public or private interest.

The HFHR argued that the refusal of publication of the Constitutional Tribunal’s ruling caused a constitutional, political, economic and publicity loss. In its interlocutory appeal against the decision, the Foundation also alleged that the prosecutor office’s decision had violated at least several provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, including the principles of objectivity and free evaluation of evidence.

The Foundation was represented in the proceedings by Professor Piotr Girdwoyń PhD, who acts pro-bono.


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