Latest developments in 2019

AuthorBojarski, Lukasz
12.1 Legislative amendments
Poland, Act on Education, amendment. Article 39a of the Act on Education was added by
Article 1(3) of the Act of 16 October 2019 amending the Act on Education, in force since
3 December 2019.
The Act on Education was partially amended with regard to the transport of children and
students with disabilities to schools and institutions. The amendment introduces an
algorithm to calculate the amount due to the parent, but it includes only the price of fuel
and the distance necessary to travel; it does not clearly indicate the number of trips a
day for which a parent may request a refund.
12.2 Case law
Name of the court: Constitutional Tribunal
Date of decision: 26 June 2019
Name of the parties: Constitutional complaint of the Prosecutor General/Minister of
Reference number: K 16/17
Brief summary: The constitutional complaint resulted from the case of a refusal by a
small printing company to print a roll-up banner for the civil society organisation LGBT
Business Forum (with just the organisation’s logo, name, website address and Facebook
link).484 In light of the violation of Article 138 of the Code of Petty Crimes485, a fine of
PLN 200 (EUR 45) was imposed on the company by the Lodz-Widzew District Court in a
simplified procedure.486 The accused brought an appeal against the Court’s verdict. The
District Court, in a standard procedure upheld the decision but waived the punishment.487
Subsequent appe als by the accused, the public prosecutor and the auxiliary prosecutor
(the CSO Campaign Against Homophobia) were rejected by the second instance regional
court.488 The Prosecutor General/Minister of Justice (PG/MJ) challenged the court’s
decision before the Supreme Court.489 The Supreme Court pointed out490 that freedom of
conscience and religious beliefs may justify a refusal to provide a service. However, a
balance between freedom of conscience and r eligious beliefs on the one hand and the
prohibition of discrimination on the other should always be struck in the light of the
circumstances of the case. In the given case, t he Supreme Court held that the accused
had no legitimate reason to refuse to perform a service motivated by his convictions.
The PG/MJ decided to challenge Article 138 of the Code of Petty Crimes before the
Constitutional Tribunal on the basis of its being contrary to the principle of a democratic
state of law as expressed in the Constitution (Article 2: The Republic of Poland shall be a
democratic state ruled by law and implementing the principles of social justice.).
484 See the banner at:
485 Article 138 of the Code of Petty Crimes reads as follows: Anyone who, being a professional service provider,
demands or collects payment higher than that in force, or deliberately refuses to provide the service without
just cause, shall be subject to a fine’.
486 Procedure where there is no hearing; the sanction is based only on a motion filed by the police.
Lód-Widzew District Court, judgment of July 2016; Police v. Printing house.
487 Lodz-Widzew District Court, judgment of 31 March 2017.
488 Łód Regional Court (Sd Okrgowy), judgment of 26 May 2017.
489 Supreme Court, judgment of 14 June 2018, No. II KK 333/17.
490 Based on the information available on the Supreme Court’s websiteŚ

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