|Assistante à l’Institut des Sciences Juridique de l’Académie Polonaise des Sciences|
|Maria Wiktoria Lewandowska|
|Doctorante à l’Institut des Sciences Juridique de l’Académie Polonaise des Sciences|
|Doctorant à l’Université de Poznan|
|La présente étude analyse les réglementations relatives à la pandémie de COVID-19 adoptées en Pologne qui autorisent la tenue d’audiences à distance dans les affaires pénales. En raison de leur nature sensible, ces dernières pourraient être soumises à un risque plus élevé de restrictions disproportionnées du droit à un procès. Le document décrit l’étendue de la protection prévue par l’article 6 de la CEDH, ses composantes et les éventuelles limitations découlant des arrêts pertinents de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme. L’analyse se concentre sur les éléments du droit à un procès équitable qui pourraient être menacés en raison de la numérisation des procédures judiciaires. Toutefois, la jurisprudence relative aux défis découlant spécifiquement de la réglementation relative à la pandémie de COVID-19 n’a pas encore été établie. L’étude examine les changements dans la procédure pénale polonaise concernant l’accès à la justice, la possibilité de participer aux audiences à distance, la possibilité de tenir des audiences sur la détention provisoire à distance et les examine au regard des normes pertinentes de la CEDH.||
The study analyses COVID-19 pandemic regulations adopted in Poland that allow the conduct of remote hearings in criminal cases as due to their sensitive nature, they might be a subject to the greater risk of disproportionate restrictions of the right to a trial. The paper outlines the scope of protection provided under Article 6 of the ECHR, its components, and possible limitations, arising from the relevant judgements of ECtHR. The analysis focuses on the elements of the right to a fair trial that might be at risk due to the digitalization of the court proceedings emphasizing, however, that the case law related to challenges arising specifically from the COVID-19 pandemic regulations is yet to be determined. The study discusses the changes in the Polish criminal procedure concerning access to justice, the possibility of participating in hearings remotely, the possibility of holding hearings on pre-trial detention remotely and examines them in terms of the relevant ECHR standards.
|Digitalisation of the judiciary has been steadily implemented throughout recent years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly significantly sped this process up and led it to be used on a wide scale across not only Poland, but also the European Union. It can be argued that the digitalisation of court proceedings brings many advantages from the institutional point of view, such as facilitating conducting of proceedings even when faced with health risks or challenges related to possible long-distance commute to court. Nevertheless, the purpose of this article is to outline the potential risks, and drawbacks of an improper digitalisation of judiciary, from the perspective of the right to a court and due process of the defendant in criminal proceedings.|
|The COVID-19 pandemic is in fact an extraordinary situation, although formally it did not cause the introduction of one of the constitutional states of emergency in the Republic of Poland. The justice system has also been affected by the need to adapt to this reality, which will not deprive individuals of their rights, including the right to a fair trial. The Polish legislator decided to introduce numerous changes in various areas of law. All these changes were made by adopting special anti-COVID laws. Nevertheless, the adopted legal acts did not necessarily introduce solutions applicable exclusively for the time of the pandemic. It means that some of the introduced regulations that enable the digitalisation of the judiciary will not cease to be bound after the COVID-19 pandemic.
|L’avis du Comité scientifique
The article of Joanna Florecka, Maria W. Lewandowska and Kamil Łakomy focuses on the guarantee of effective legal protection of the right to a court and due process of the defendant in criminal proceedings in the extraordinary situation such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The justice system in Poland, as well as many other state systems, was affected by the need of adapting to this reality and the Polish legislator introduced numerous changes in various areas of law. The authors present the problems of the usage of the right to a fair trial in the context of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Article 6). On the one hand, the authors do not deny that the process of digitalisation may be estimated as a necessity and can have a positive aspect. On the other hand, they show the drawbacks of an improper digitalisation of judiciary and prove that the several problems and potential risks exist.
Professeure à l’Institut des Sciences juridiques de l’Académie polonaise des sciences
|The issue of judiciary digitalisation may be analysed in aspects related to, inter alia: holding court hearings in the form of videoconferences (in full or in a limited scope), digitalisation of case files, delivery and filing of procedural documents by parties via an information and communication technology system (ICT), electronic registration of procedural hearings. In many aspects using new technologies enables to fasten the proceedings, for instance by allowing parties to participate in court hearings while using electronic devices or by giving access to information about the case uploaded to a special platform. However, despite the many advantages resulting from the digitalisation of the judiciary, it is necessary to analyse how this issue affects the realisation of the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (“Convention”).