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The Sejm Justice and Human Rights Committee for the rejection of the government’s draft amendment to the Prison Service Act

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The Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights accepted Poland’s 2050 motion to reject the government’s bill in its entirety concerning amendments to the Prison Service Act and changing the name of the Higher School of Justice to the Academy of Justice. “The opposition wins the vote in the justice committee. The project of Solidarna Polska regarding the establishment of the judiciary academy has been assessed as rejection!” – Michał Szczerba from the Civic Coalition wrote on Twitter.

On Thursday, the Justice and Human Rights Committee considered the motion and amendments tabled during the second reading to the bill on changing the name of a state service university supervised by the Minister of Justice and amending the Prison Service Act and some other acts.

The project assumes, among other things, changing the name of the Higher School of Justice into the Academy of Justice.

Poland 2050 had already submitted a motion to reject the act in its entirety. During the Thursday meeting of the committee, Tomasz Zimoch, a member of this circle, said that this was a “very bad project”. – In this form, we should not proceed with it at all, this is an act that creates a state within a state, an act for party appointees, and that is why we have submitted a motion to reject the draft act in its entirety – he added.

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“The opposition wins the vote in the justice committee”

Ultimately, the committee voted in favor of Poland’s 2050 application. 10 deputies voted for its support, i.e. for rejecting the bill, nine were against, and one person abstained from voting.

The committee has a total of 31 deputies, of which 13 are representatives of the club PIS.

– The Committee recommends rejection, thus negatively recommends the amendments proposed during the second reading. There will also be a negative recommendation for the submitted amendments. Whether the bill will be accepted or rejected will be decided by the high chamber in a vote tomorrow – said the chairman of the committee, Marek Ast from PiS. Several amendments were made to the draft on Wednesday.

“The opposition wins the vote on the justice committee. The project of Solidarna Polska regarding the establishment of a judiciary academy was rejected! Ziobro wanted to appoint a rector for five years. The university serves as a pumping station for funds from the Justice Fund. Enough!” (original spelling – ed.) – Michał Szczerba from the Civic Coalition, a member of the commission, wrote on Twitter.

Earlier, during Wednesday’s debate, Szczerba pointed out that the changes assume that the rector of the academy will be appointed for a five-year term by the minister of justice, which was opposed by the Central Council of Science and Higher Education as incompatible with the Higher Education Act. – This provision should be eliminated – stressed Szczerba.

What would the changes concern?

According to the authors of the government project, it is to simplify the qualification of candidates for the prison service. It also assumes streamlining the process of managing the resources of temporary accommodation for officers of this service.

The proposed provisions also apply to medical certification for candidates for service – occupational medicine units of the prison service are to be included in the recruitment process. The government argued that this was to streamline recruitment and encourage candidates to join the Prison Service, and to relieve the Regional Medical Commissions which are currently issuing such decisions, which are subordinated to the Minister of the Interior and Administration.

The new provisions are also intended to enable officers and service employees to obtain the necessary psychological assistance in the event that they participated in an event that could be a source of strong stress in connection with the performance of official duties.

The changes in the regulations are also intended to streamline the rules for managing temporary quarters for prison officers entitled to receive them.

The proposed amendment would enter into force 14 days after its announcement. Only the provisions on the Academy of Justice and the rules for selecting its new rector would apply from September 1, 2023.

Main photo source: TVN24

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