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Polish National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution – what should be recognised, changed or improved?

The functional model of the general and specialist professional training and development programmes for the staff of the judiciary and prosecution service offered by the Polish National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution should be fundamentally refurbished, says a key recommendation of the report “Polish National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution – what should be recognised, changed or improved?” by Dr Dawid Sześciło. The report has been prepared as part of the Monitoring of the Legislative Process in the Area of Justice System, an HFHR’s legal programme.

The report has been divided into two parts: the first part analysed the issues relating to the professional education of future judges and prosecutors while the second one discussed the subject of continuous professional development of the justice system personnel. The need to develop such a report resulted from, among other things, recent proposals to amend the Polish National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution Act and the ongoing debate on the model of the judicial career path. The public debate has criticised the “general legal training” qualification offered by the PNSJPP, questioning its reasonableness.

“The general legal training scheme has proven to be a costly experiment which failed to provide the justice system with benefits which would balance the investments made into the programme”, says Dr Dawid Sześciło, author of the report. “The key problem is the absence of an attractive career path for those graduates of the general training qualification who failed to enter a specialist qualification scheme, in particular judicial training”, he adds.

Notwithstanding the above, both the recipients of the training and their superiors positively assess the continuous professional development educational offer of the PNSJPP. Still, concerns have been raised that the cost-cutting which affects the School’s continuous professional development budget may result in such activities being pushed outside the main area of the institution’s mandate.

“Unfortunately, the Ministry of Justice, the body directly supervising the School, has no long-term strategy for the it’s development”, says Dr Adam Bodnar, HFHR Deputy President. “The final version of the proposed changes introduces only limited, formal corrections and indicates that the ministry has not conducted a serious and comprehensive audit of the School’s functioning”, adds Dr Bodnar.


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