Summary of the 81st Meeting of the Sejm

On Thursday, deputies passed a socially important law - an amendment to the Criminal Code, providing for increased protection of minors from sexual offenses. The House also passed a resolution on the 40th anniversary of John Paul II's first pilgrimage to Poland and on the 30th anniversary of the rebirth of the Polish Senate.

Important decisions of the Sejm

The parliament has passed a government bill to increase protection of minors from sex crimes. According to the adopted amendment to the law in the Criminal Code, rape of a child will not be subject to the statute of limitations. So far, the statute of limitations for rape of a minor under the age of 15 is 20 years, or 30 years if prosecuted within that time. The age of criminal protection for children was raised from 15 to 16. At the same time, the court's ability to waive punishment when the age difference is small has been introduced. The amendment also increased penalties for pedophilia.The child rapist will face 5 to 30 years in prison. If, on the other hand, the minor was in the custody of the perpetrator, then the lower penalty will be increased to 8 years. If, on the other hand, the consequence of the rape is the death of the child - a life sentence. Currently, the penalty for raping a child is 3 to 15 years, and when the perpetrator acted with special cruelty - 5 to 15 years. Provisions of the adopted law also mention an increase in penalties for child sexual abuse. Until now, they have ranged from 2 to 12 years in prison, and now from 2 to 15 years. In addition, Perpetrators of violent pedophile crimes will not be allowed to leave prison on early release. In the most severe cases, the court will be able to exclude the possibility of early parole.

According to the adopted amendment, the scope of information disclosed in the so-called "pedophile registry" has been expanded, which will be supplemented by the offender's learned profession and occupation at the time of the crime. Other changes in the Penal Code reform include flexible sentencing. As a result, courts have been given the ability to adjudicate in accordance with a sense of justice and commensurate with the severity of guilt. Until now, judges had a limited range of punishments for the most serious crimes: up to 15 years' imprisonment, a separate sentence of 25 years' imprisonment and life imprisonment. Thus, they could not impose, for example, a sentence of 18 or 27 years in prison, even if it was appropriate. Hence, according to the amendment, the elimination of the separate sentence of 25 years in prison and the introduction of flexible sentences: from 15 days to 30 years in prison and life imprisonment. The bill will now go to the Senate.

Adopted government laws

The House's agenda included 10 government bills concerning, in turn: amendments to the Family and Guardianship Code and the Civil Procedure Code; amendments to the Law on Patients' Rights and the Patient Ombudsman; a draft law on the performance of economic activity in the field of manufacturing and trading of explosives, weapons, ammunition and products and technology for military or police use; amendments to the Law on Employee Capital Plans; amendments to the Law on the Polish Space Agency and the Law on Government Administration Departments; Draft law on the Fund for the development of bus services of a public utility nature; amendments to the Law - Penal Code and certain other laws; amendments to the Law on National Real Estate Resources and certain other laws; a bill amending the Law on Health Care Services Financed from Public Funds and certain other laws; Amendments to the law on reimbursement of medicines, foodstuffs for special nutritional purposesand medical devices and some other laws. All the bills have been approved. They will now be taken up by the Senate.

The Diet also considered and approved two Senate bills: Administrative Procedure Code and Cooperative Law, which will continue to the Senate.

The meeting also included the swearing-in of the President of the Office for Personal Data Protection, Jan Nowak, who thus formally began his term.

On that day, MPs also heard information from Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration Jaroslaw Zielinski on the implementation in 2017 of the Program for Modernization of the Police, Border Guard, State Fire Service and State Protection Service in 2017-2020, along with the position of the Committee on Administration and Internal Affairs. The strategic goal of the program was to create optimal conditions for the services responsible for security and public order to carry out their statutory tasks. The program is based on three pillars: replacement and modernization of equipment, infrastructure investments, and an increase in the emoluments of officers and civilian employees of these services. The Sejm accepted the information.

Deputies also deliberated on two motions: The Chief of Police's request for the Sejm's consent to hold MP Joanna Schmidt criminally liable for a misdemeanor, and a private prosecutor's request for the Sejm's consent to hold MP Slawomir Nitras criminally liable. The Sejm approved them. They will now be forwarded to the Senate for consideration.

I Readings

A draft has been referred to the Public Finance Committee Amendments to the Law on Inheritance and Donation Tax. It provides for tax exemption for the acquisition by inheritance or donation of property or property rights, by persons residing, or who have resided, in a foster family or in a family orphanage, as long as the donor or testator was a person forming a foster family or running a family orphanage in which the gifted person or heir resided.

Completion of parliamentary work

In addition, the Diet adopted Senate amendments to five amendments to laws on: Postal Law, on the Police and certain other laws, on the Card of the Pole, on road transportation and certain other laws, and on the Labor Code and certain other laws. The laws will now be sent to the President for signature.


Photo by Rafał Zambrzycki



Parliamentary committees

Law and Justice



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