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).
The “Innocence” Clinic
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The Law Clinic "Innocence" has been operating within the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights since 1999. Its participants are students of legal studies, including those from the Faculty of Law and Administration at Warsaw University, the Ryszard Łazarski University of Commerce and Law and the Cardinal Wyszyński University, as well as the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences and Re-socialization at the Warsaw University Institute of Social Prevention and Re-socialization. The person responsible for the Clinic's work is Małgorzata Wypych and for contact with students - Maria Ejchart. These people also hold consultations with students regarding cases submitted to the Clinic. Professor Andrzej Rzepliński is the guardian responsible for the contents.
The Law Clinic "Innocence" Program was included in the didactic program of the Institute of Social Prevention and Re-socialization. The students can receive credit for 30 hours of classes, signed by Prof. Andrzej Rzepliński.
Cases of individuals accused or convicted in criminal proceedings, who question their wrongdoing, are directed to the program. From among them we choose those, in which, according to our evaluation, the gathered evidence is not sufficient to deliver a verdict of guilty.
As part of the Clinic's classes, the students analyze cases, which were qualified for the program, and make proposals of actions leading to the evaluation whether there was a violation of the right to a fair trial in a particular case.
Phases of the case's investigation:
- preliminary investigation of the case from the perspective of human rights violations. Following the case's qualification as one that has importance for the observance of human rights -
- gathering information, especially documents
- establishment of contact with an attorney, if need be a meeting with the client
- examination of the case's court files,
- observation of the court trial
- preparation of a report, along with conclusions
- elaboration of the project of an amicus curiae type legal opinion in the case of confirmed human rights violations.
Specialists, who professionally handle law or write about it (journalists, who write about criminal cases, judges, prosecutors, attorneys, criminal technicians, employees of the Central Criminal Laboratory), are also invited to the Clinic's meetings.
The meetings with students are carried out by:
Maria Ejchart - M.Ejchart@hfhrpol.waw.pl
Professor Andrzej Rzepliński is the Clinic's scientific guardian.