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The Warsaw Voice » Law » October 14, 2009
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Law in brief
October 14, 2009   
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Finance Ministry to Continue Aid to Banks
The finance ministry wants to extend by a year-until the end of 2010-the time limit on liquidity assistance the state provides to financial institutions to help them cope with possible further fallout from the global financial crisis. The finance ministry has submitted draft amendments to the Feb. 12 law on assistance to financial institutions for interministerial consultation. If adopted, the amendments would benefit banks, insurers, brokerage houses, investment fund companies and mutual savings banks.

The ministry says the money needed to finance this assistance will come from spending already planned under the 2010 budget bill, and the planned deficit figure will not be raised. The extension of the time limit will have a favorable impact not only on the financial market but also indirectly on households because financial institutions will be able to expand their lending activity.

New Rules for Police Recruitment
The interior ministry has prepared draft amendments to the ordinance governing rules for recruitment into the police force that are expected to help reduce costs. An important change is that police candidates are to undergo psychological evaluation only after they have passed the physical fitness test. If they fail the fitness test, they would be dropped and would not take the psychological test. In addition, it is proposed that unsuccessful applicants should be allowed to re-apply no sooner than six months after dropping out the first time.

Ministry Plans to Merge Legal Professions
The justice ministry wants two legal professions-trial lawyers and legal advisers-to merge into a single body by the end of 2011. The move is expected to increase competition among lawyers in criminal cases. Legal advisers currently do not have the right to represent their clients in criminal cases, so the change may help reduce the cost of legal services and benefit the public.

The legal profession was divided into trial lawyers and legal advisers by the communist authorities in the 1960s in order to weaken the elite community of lawyers. Legal advisers used to work mainly for state-owned firms. Now, lawyers will have the right to run their own law firms or work for companies.

Ombudsman Asks PM to Intervene
Ombudsman Janusz Kochanowski has asked Prime Minister Donald Tusk to intervene over the failure of government offices to respond on time to studies and reports submitted to them by the ombudsman. Kochanowski enclosed a list of these studies concerning the functioning of the state in a letter to the prime minister, noting they have been drawn up by experts and presented to members of the government on many occasions. The ombudsman is responsible not only for intervening in cases involving private individuals but also proposing new regulations to improve the legal system.

In his letter, Kochanowski complained that although his proposals usually attract interest, in many cases no attempt is made to put them into practice. In some cases, the only response was a short reply acknowledging receipt of the materials. Kochanowski wrote this may create the impression that some problems reported by citizens and taken up by the ombudsman are ignored.
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