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Access to court in times of a pandemic

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has published an analysis on access to court in times of coronavirus outbreak. 

The Polish justice system does not widely use means of electronic communication. Due to this fact, when the pandemic-driven restrictions on the operations of the courts were announced, it was impossible to automatically switch to electronic communication between the court and parties (including those represented by an attorney).

In the early stages of the pandemic emergency, a legislative proposal was put forward to introduce the option of electronic submissions for the duration of the restrictions. However, this proposal has been withdrawn in the course of legislative works.

The lack of systematic guidance on access to courts creates uncertainty for parties to judicial proceedings. There are no uniform rules on the submission of letters and documents or the operations of court registry offices. Also, the courts have not implemented any standardised method of publishing online updates and notifications.

 

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