Deprivation of the Right to Speak and Exclusion of Questions during the Trial in Civil Procedure

The Polish Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter referred to as the “CCP”) contains many interesting regulations, which are often used in practice, but are not sufficiently described in legal doctrine. One of such institutions, which should be close to every attorney-at-law or judge`s heart, is provided for in Article 155 CCP. The said provision tenders legal basis for the presiding judge to take away the right to speak and exclude questions asked during the trial in civil procedure. This paper aims to examine the abovementioned regulation and includes analyses of legal doctrine`s views, available judicial decisions and different hypothetical situations. The paper leads to the conclusion that the scope of the Article`s 155 CCP application is broad, although the content of the said article is restrained. This is due to the fact that Article 155 CCP includes several indeterminate phrases, concerning “abuse” of the right to speak and “improper or needless” questions. The said institution therefore encompasses such cases as violation of seriousness, peace and order during court actions, raising irrelevant issues, asking suggestive questions and many other infringements. The abovementioned circumstances require a proper reaction of a presiding judge. However, if a presiding judge applies the said regulation in an inappropriate manner, consequences may be substantial, ranging from requiring a participant in the procedure to modify the asked question to a possibility of appealing the final judgement. Finally, a complex analysis of Article 155 CCP allows to indicate how to formulate proper questions and exercise his or her right to speak before the court.

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