We are an organisation established in 1989 by the members of the Helsinki Committee in Poland.
Our mission is - the development of the human liberties and rights culture, both domestically and abroad.
Since 2007 we have Consultative Status with the United Nation's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Public interest law actions
Piotr KładocznyProgram employees:
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A significant role in the Program's work is played by the students, who handle the cases together with our lawyers. Thanks to them, in most cases it is possible to send an observer to ongoing court proceedings and to get a more in-depth understanding of the circumstances surrounding the case.
The Public Interest Law Actions Program has functioned at the Foundation almost since the moment of its establishment. The Program's main aim is to strive towards the improvement of standards of human rights observance, especially in those spheres of social life, where personal and political rights are being implemented. We derive the knowledge about human rights violations mainly from numerous letters and interviews with people, who approach the Foundation, as well as from the media and study-tours. Up to this moment, we have registered over 25 thousand inquirers, who - most often by mail - sought advice or assistance on issues concerning human rights violations.
From among the cases that come in, we choose those, which according to us concern the commonly comprehended human rights guaranteed especially by the ECHR and the Polish Constitution.
The following issues fall into our scope of interest:
The right to a fair trial, especially:
- excessive duration of court proceedings,
- the right to a defense, especially that, which is handled by a ex-officio defender,
- observance of the rights of crime victims,
- equality of parties involved proceedings,
- professional liability of lawyers and judges.
The unauthorized violation of personal immunity by police officers, especially:
- transgression of license by intervening policemen,
- abuse of the measures of direct coercion,
- relinquishment from actions, to which the police is obliged,
- inhuman or degrading treatment.
The right to privacy, including the protection of personal data
The right to information about the activities carried out by the organs of state and self-government authorities
The right to personal liberty - the legality of applying temporary arrest
Observance of the rights of people deprived of liberty
Cases concerning patients' rights
Cases that qualify to be examined by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
Cases that qualify to be examined by the Constitutional Tribunal
Accepting a particular case, we choose one of the following means of activity:
- observation of court proceedings from the perspective of the abidance by the right to a fair trail,
- participation in criminal court proceedings as a public representative with the right to take the floor on issues, which are important from the point of view of human rights protection,
- possibility to address the national or local organs of authority, pointing out the violation of human rights and liberties in their actions,
- supporting the parties involved in proceedings during certain court trials by providing expertise or legal opinions in the scope of human rights,
- assistance in formulating complaints to the Constitutional Tribunal concerning issues, in which we believe that the enforced legal regulation may be unconstitutional,
- assistance in formulating complaints to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,
- Co-operation with the Bar on issues that are important from the human rights point of view, supporting lawyers by providing legal arguments concerning the standards of human rights protection,
- Co-operation with the media, commentary to the recent cases of human rights violations, explanations, publicizing some of the cases.
Prof. Andrzej Rzepliński is the Program's consultant responsible for contents.