ADAM GRABOWSKI* - MONIKA KOTOWSKA**
HOW THE POLISH SYSTEM OF DEALING WITH JUVENILE
DELINQUENCY RELATES TO THE EUROPEAN
PARLIAMENT RECOMMENDATIONS – LEGAL AND
Having become a European Union member in the year 2004, Poland faced the necessity of
harmonising its legal system with that of the Integrated Europe. This paper aims to analyse how the
current Polish regulations concerning juvenile delinquency (the Juvenile Act of October the 26th,
1982) relate to international documents pertaining to the subject of juvenile delinquency, such as UN
resolutions as well as resolutions and recommendations of the European Parliament, particula rly the
Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers on new ways of dealing with juvenile
delinquency and the role of juvenile justice (2003) as well as the Opinion of the European
Economic and Social Committee on the prevention of juvenile delinquency (2006).
Some analysts have recently pointed to juvenile delinquency as the
field of major concern for European countries, especially as, firstly, the
phenomenon, as they stress, is clearly on the rise, and, secondly, the
offences concerned become more and more serious1. Other experts2,
however, emphasise that juvenile delinquency and crime are episodic,
usually of petty nature, and regularly disappear in early adulthood.
Therefore they appeal for a tolerant approach towards young offenders
and point to many European countries that have already introduced
special regulations for juvenile offenders which provide educational
measures and sanctions instead of imprisonment as responses to youth
criminality. Indeed, youth justice systems in Europe have experienced
considerable changes, particularly in the former socialist countries of
transition. In Poland, however, the juvenile legal liability is still regulated
with the Juvenile Act of 26 October 19823.
** Faculty of Law and Administration (Wydział Prawa i Administracji), University
of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland.
1 C. FOUSSARD, Supporting cooperation and information exchange: The
International Juvenile Justice Observatory, [in:] Juvenile justice systems in Europe –
current situation and reform developments, (eds.) F. DÜNKEL, J. GRZYWA, P. HORSEFIELD,
I. PRUIN, Mönchengladbach 2010, p. 23.
2 I. PRUIN, The scope of juvenile justice systems In Europe, [in:] Juvenile justice
systems in Europe - current situation and reform developments, (eds.) F. DÜNKEL, J.
GRZYWA, P. HORSEFIELD, I. PRUIN, Mönchengladbach, 2010, p. 1513.
3 ”Ustawa o postpowaniu w sprawach nieletnich”: Dz.U. Nr 35, poz. 228.; Dz.U.,
2002, Nr 11, poz. 109.