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The Warsaw Voice » Law » April 30, 2010
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Law in brief
April 30, 2010   
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Prison Guards Can Use Stun Guns
Prison guards will be allowed to use electric stun guns on prisoners and they will also be allowed to use firearms to prevent prisoners from escaping from a convoy, under a new bill on the prison service passed by the parliament.

Prison guards will have to have an unblemished reputation and guarantee that they are able to keep official secrets. They will also have to stay fit and undergo regular training, with a special prison service training center to be set up for this purpose.

An independent disciplinary commissioner for the prison service would also be appointed under the law.


More Court Cases
Polish courts handled over 12 million cases last year, up from 11.2 million in 2008. The number of cases filed with courts increased by 6.1 percent last year, from 11.2 million to almost 11.9 million.


Domestic Violence Stats
Police officers across the country reported more than 81,000 domestic violence cases in 2009, with the number of victims exceeding 132,000, according to data from the national police headquarters.
The victims included more than 80,000 women, almost 40,000 children and teenagers, and around 11,000 men.

Of 763 homicide cases reported nationwide last year, 228 were related to family conflicts, the police said.


National Census Next Year
A national population census will be conducted in Poland from April 1 to June 30 next year, under a draft law approved by parliament. Before that happens, a trial population count will be held in some districts from April 1 to May 31 this year.


Tax Evaders Own Up
A growing number of German tax evaders are turning themselves in to the country’s tax authorities for fear of being exposed, the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper has reported. This is after German authorities controversially decided to buy a CD with the stolen data of around 1,500 people with accounts in Swiss banks who could have evaded paying up to 100 million euros in taxes. The German authorities have reportedly paid 2.5 million euros for the CD. According to Financial Times Deutschland, 291 “tax sinners” turned themselves in by the end of February in Bavaria alone. In Hamburg, 78 such cases were recorded.


Racism on the Rise
The number of racist offenses in Poland increased last year while the number of cases solved by law enforcers dropped, according to a report from the National Prosecutor’s Office.

Last year, prosecutors conducted 166 proceedings involving racist offenses, up from 123 in 2008 and 62 in 2007. Twenty cases are still under way; 46 individuals have been indicted, and courts have given out 27 verdicts, with 24 convictions. A total of 73 proceedings were dropped, 42 of them because the perpetrator could not be found.


Website Administrator Forced to Reveal Libeler
The Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw has upheld a decision by the general inspector for personal data protection ordering an internet website administrator to disclose the IP addresses of individuals making libelous comments about the private life of a popular Polish singer. The IP addresses are needed to identify these individuals.

The court ruled that a website administrator must disclose an IP address if this is needed to file a defamation lawsuit. According to the court, the law on the protection of personal data permits the disclosure of personal data for legally justified purposes.


New Regulations on Employee Training
The Sejm, or lower house of parliament, has approved changes to the Labor Code which grant company employees who improve their professional skills the right to six days of paid vacation prior to examinations. The changes, passed April 9, replace previous legislation that expired April 11 governing the rights of personnel who are sent by their companies for training or to improve qualifications.
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