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Financial liability of public authorities

Public scrutiny Completed
2014-04-30 - 2016-04-30
279 691,84 PLN
249 691,84 PLN
judiciary system, law, public finances
Project description
The statistics show that receiving compensation from public authorities, even in case of drastic errors by civil servants, meets a lot of obstacles, and is highly improbable in practice. For example, the total amount paid out in compensation to citizens in 2012 amounted to about PLN 400 million, while courts rejected claims for over PLN 3,5 billion. Statistically, the citizens lose 90% of cases they bring to court. This may be evidence of dysfunctional procedures.
The objective of the project was to identify sources of dysfunction in the Polish system of compensations for damages connected with performance of public authority, to act for change, including proposing legal changes, as well as to alert judges and civil servants to the claimants’ situation.
The monitoring included almost 500 court cases concerning financial liability of public authorities, in 45 district courts all over Poland. In dozens of cases, the Foundation presented written opinions for the benefit of the claimants. The monitoring resulted in the report “Financial liability of public authorities to the citizens. Empirical research. Studies of jurisdiction”. The report was delivered to the judges of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court, and to representatives of the State Treasury Solicitors’ Office, the Ministry of Treasury. A handbook for the public was prepared (“Compensation for unlawful execution of power”), available from the website and donated to 2000 libraries. The website informs about precedential cases, and provides a possibility to contact the Foundation and subject a case to monitoring. A conference was organised for over 200 people – representatives of institutions, judges and scientists. The beneficiaries of the programme were individuals and legal entities injured by the authorities – particularly individuals without legal knowledge – as well as judges and civil servants.
We use the grant for capacity building