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Polskie prawo czy polskie prawie! Barwy Bezprawia

opublikowano: 26-10-2010

From the court to mental asylum. The bitter truth about the Polish judicial system.

The corruption of the Polish justice system is not a secret. The abuses of psychiatry in “set up” court cases are less known. The matters I write about, are based on my own experiences, however, I met people who were in similar situations.

From the conversations which I have had, I know that the detention for a psychiatric observation is a frequent tool in the hands of judges. It is a dangerous tool, because it is used by persons, of whose honesty I have serious doubts. The judges form a clan, which for strange reasons has not been subjected to verification after 1989 and has the impunity guaranteed by law.

Not bound by law.

The Polish legal system is still to a large degree based on the communist era statutes. I addition, in the minds of the bureaucrats, and especially amongst the legal profession, the purpose of the law is to keep the “mob” down. The courts are not bound by the law. Just compare the files of family and child custody cases with the statute-books to see what I mean.

In a particular contempt the lawyers have the Constitution. They wince just at its mention. The courts, on the other hand, tend to ignore the Constitution. They are, after all, independent and can decide as they see fit.

What is interesting is the social acceptance for that type of behaviour. It is a servile attitude, a legacy of the years of communism, imposing a passive submission to the “authorities”.

Psychiatric examination, straight away!

Corrupt, but still independent, judge runs the case according to her or his own rules. Before even it is established whether the offence took place and if the accused is guilty, the “culprit” is referred to a psychiatric examination and then routinely locked up for observation in a psychiatric institution. To achieve this, the judge has a large set of tools. She can, for example, ask provocative questions trying to upset the accused. After a long hearing, in the state of stress, one’s mouth can become completely dry. For the judge all these, are signs of mental problems.

Following this kind of introduction, the court psychiatrists are instructed about the expected outcome of the examination by provision of the case file and the detailed observations of the judge. According to the Statute of the Criminal Procedures (k.p.k), the psychiatric report should be prepared by at least two independent psychiatrists. In practice, two psychiatrists see the patient together, reconciling the diagnosis. Therefore, the independence is a fiction. No wonder then, that in these circumstances, the psychiatric report agrees with the expectations of the judge and the person is decided to be locked up in the asylum.

Incapacitating

The described procedure is a very convenient way to avoid the trial and hearing of the witnesses, to which the accused has the right. In addition, the victim is incapacitated by imposing a court appointed lawyer. In a set-up case this type of solution makes the things easier for the frauds. As we well know, in a psychiatric hospital, one can do anything with a person and certainly it is possible to turn a mentally sound person into an ill one. The defence against this perfidy is hard. The court licensed psychiatrists refuse examination without the court referral. It is possible to obtain any report, but not the psychiatric one. It gives you something to think about the real purpose of such examinations. With difficulty, without informing the psychiatrist (not the court licensed one) about the real purpose of seeing him, I managed to obtain a certificate about the positive state my mental health. For the court, however, that kind of certificate does not matter. It is only the trusted “professionals” that count.

The Prosecutors and Judges in The Same Team

Another interesting aspect of the cases with which I had to do, is the active involvement of the prosecution in directing the accused to the psychiatric institution. It is even stated in the Statue of Criminal Procedures. (art. 202 k.p.k.). One might think that the duty of the prosecutor is to investigate the matter and possibly prove the guilt. During the court sitting, however, the prosecutor supports the court with respect to the referral to the psychiatric observation. It happens also, that, very much like the court, the prosecutor sends the person for the psychiatric examination before it is even verified that the supposed offence actually happened. It puts into question the real purpose of this institution.

Money

In cases, which I have come across, in the above described manner were attacked people thought to be well off. In the Polish Statute of Civil Procedures there is a notion of so called financial securing (zabezpieczenie) in litigation and the articles 735 and 753 allow adjudging, in absentia and without the knowledge of the affected person, any sum of money in favour of the cheats. In the child custody and divorce cases this “law” is used to obtain arbitrarily high maintenance payments and effectively deprive fathers their parental rights. For those protesting, the courts have the earlier described method of psychiatric detention. There is little point to appeal. All judges from the Local to the High Court will support their colleague irrespective of the circumstances. The lawyers, on the other hand, are very reluctant to take up those cases, suddenly realising that this is not really their area of expertise.

Looking at the situation, one might be tempted to argue that one of the objectives of the “justice” system is to enforce the submission of the people to the bureaucratic power. It is the power obtained outside the democratic process, often with aims having little to do with the abidance of the law.

The Cry for Verification

The Polish law and the whole legal profession require a thorough verification and rebuilding. I have doubts, however, if the Poles can achieve that on their own. The problem is the feeling of helplessness and acceptance of the abuses of power deeply anchored in their mentality.

A way out might be to try to use the Polish lawyers from abroad, from countries less infected by corruption. Remedying the state of things is not simple, but the process needs to be started. Pretending that the problem does not exist will not solve it.

Bogdan Goczynski


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