Statutory System of Protection and Aid for Victims and Witnesses

The article is concerned with an important issue of protection of and aid for victims and witnesses in the Polish criminal procedure. The new Act on the issue has added new measures of protection and aid, among which there are: assistance of a police officer during legal proceedings, close protection and possibility of relocation of a victim or witness should the circumstances justify such a need. This new system implements the provisions of the EU Directive of the European Parliament and Council 2012/29/EU establishing minimum standards of the rights of, support for and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA. Unfortunately, it seems that the Polish provisions are not adequate and do not necessarily mirror those set out in the directive. The article ventures to elaborate upon the new regulations on aid and protection for victims and witnesses and subjects them to a thorough critique.

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