2008 The liquidation of the lawyers’ monopoly on criminal cases’ representation

Limited access of the attorneys-in-law to represent clients in the criminal cases has been under the discussion for quite a while right now. The argument started from the case of the employees of the chain of shops called “Biedronka”. They were represented by the attorneys-at-law, however, only in the civil proceedings. They won the case. Unfortunately the representation could not be stretched to the criminal lawsuit of the employees. Planned changes in the Code of Criminal Procedure have just been directed to the department’s arrangements. If the new regulation are passed, apart from 6,5 thousand of lawyers, the right to representation in criminal cases will obtain around 25 thousand of attorneys-in-law. This will constitute a serious competition for the lawyers.

Instead of the complicated article 88 of The Code of Criminal Procedure a new concise article 88 will be introduced: “The proxy can be the lawyer or the attorney-at-law.” At the moment attorney-at-law, according to the article 88 paragraph 3, can represent natural persons conducting the business activity. This raises many questions like: does the right apply only to the estate claims or is it applicable also to other claims. The new project resolves all the doubts.

The new proposal of the Ministry allows attorneys-at-law to represent the injured party, claimant, auxiliary prosecutor and the persons that are not a side to a trial such as: a witness or the accused. However, the project still maintains the lawyers’ monopoly to represent clients in the criminal proceedings. Such a change would eliminate the basic differences between the two professions. The lawyers’ body is against the change, emphasizing the differences in the education and practice of law of lawyers and attorneys-at-law. The government will work on this project in May

Kancelaria Prawna 90-060 Łódź, ul. Nawrot 4/1, tel./fax +48 /42/ 630 58 41, tel. +48 /42/ 632 51 44,
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