state of epidemic risk

How Has the Coronavirus Affected Polish Criminal Law?

Author: Weronika Stawińska
Institution: Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (Poland)
Published online: 20 June 2022
Final submission: 3 December 2021
Printed issue: June 2022
Source: Show
Page no: 16
Pages: 107-122
DOI Address:
PDF: ppsy/51/ppsy202223_7.pdf

This paper aims to indicate the changes in Polish criminal law introduced in the COVID-19 acts. The text identifies the new regulations of most importance to society. For this reason, the initial focus is on the issue of suspension of procedural time limits and some substantive law time limits from the Criminal Code. It must be stated that, from the perspective of the legal certainty principle, precisely these provisions are of the most significant importance for the defendant. Next, the changes in the Electronic tagging concerning the possibility of interrupting the execution of an imprisonment sentence and serving an imprisonment sentence were discussed. From a criminal policy point of view, higher penalties for the offences of exposure to infection and stalking should also have been mentioned. A new offence of particularly aggravated theft has appeared in the Penal Code and a new offence of obstructing a Police or Border Guard officer in performing official duties. For a more effective fight, it is also vital to provide for the possibility of imposing a new preventive measure and confiscating objects important to public health. The indicated legal developments are presented in the context of human rights protection and in light of recent literature and judicial decisions.

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