Corrupt Influence by Organized Crime on Law Enforcement and the Justice System in Poland in Light of Research Results

Emil W. Plywaczewski, University of Bialystok

Organized criminal groups in Poland try to influence law enforcement and the justice system in a variety of ways. Their ability to influence public officials is also at times characterized by a high degree of planning. This paper presents the results of a nationwide survey research conducted in 2000 and 2001 among police officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation (Centraline Biuro Sledcze), which also covered prosecutors dealing with organized crime cases, judges adjudicating criminal cases, and witnesses for the prosecution. The results of this research, when supplemented by data from the Central Bureau of Investigation both demonstrate the size of the problem and allow for the possibility of formulating conclusions aimed at counteracting this phenomenon. Judges and prosecutors themselves point, among others, to a need for introducing mechanisms of self-policing among public prosecutors' offices, courts, and especially among defense attorneys. Other recommendations include increasing the number of disciplinary tribunals, making disciplinary procedures quicker, and making sure that verdicts of those courts are always public. The paper also talks about the issue of the so-called consultants of organized criminal groups, that is to say people who give the activities of those groups direction and who secure both legal and technological interests of those groups.

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Updated 05/20/2006