President considers introduction of magistrates’ courts to relieve judiciary

I do not rule out amending the constitution by introducing the institution of the Justice of the Peace and the magistrates’ court, President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday during the inauguration meeting of the team for the draft regulation introducing this institution held at the Presidential Palace.

The team leader, professor Piotr Kruszyński stated that there is a chance that the project will be completed before the end of the year.

The meeting was also attended by Paweł Kukiz, an MP and a rock musician, who, as the president noted, “is the initiator, determined for years, of the idea of introducing the institution of courts and justices of the peace in the Polish legal system.”

President Duda said that the team should determine whether the measure could be introduced as a new law or whether it would need an amendment to the constitution.

As he added, the two major problems as it stands are “the lack of trust in the judiciary, or at least the lack of trust as much as we would expect,” and “the indolence of the judiciary, that is, long and complicated proceedings that citizens very often do not understand.”

According to the president, one of the ways to refine the system is to reduce the jurisdiction of the courts, that is, to transfer some of the cases that are handled by common courts to the magistrates' courts.

Mr Kukiz stressed that this institution “is primarily to bring the judiciary closer to the people, to deformalise the proceedings and to accelerate them.”

Justice of peace courts are expected to deal with basic and straight-forward cases that could be easily resolved. This would take some of the burden off regular courts, where trials often last years due to an overload of cases. This institution was abolished in Poland in 1938.

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