Pursuing claims in a criminal trial versus an adhesive claim?

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Before the amendment to the regulations, which took place in July 2015, the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure provided for regulations enabling us to pursue our civil claims in connection with the crime committed, if the injured party lodged an adhesive application.

What is an adhesive claim

The adhesive claim was one of the methods of pursuing civil claims in a criminal trial. Its main purpose was to enable the injured party to obtain compensation or redress. The aggrieved party had the opportunity to bring such an action until the commencement of the trial (in other words - until the indictment was read by the prosecutor).

Investigation of property claims

By means of this measure, it was possible to pursue only property claims that resulted directly from the committed offenses, both private prosecution and offenses prosecuted ex officio. The courts have also repeatedly indicated that the pursuit of claims could be of a non-pecuniary nature, serving as compensation for the committed crime. The undoubted benefit for the parties was the exemption from the costs of proceedings in a civil trial and pursuing claims in a criminal trial.

Liquidation of the adhesion claim

On July 1, 2015, a new reform came into force that changed the conduct of the criminal process. One of the significant changes introduced to the legal system was the liquidation of the institution of an adhesive claim, which was brought by the parties in a civil trial. Adhesion claim, although it was aimed at combining in one process of adjudication in a criminal case and in compensation or redress, did not fully work in practice. The courts did not sufficiently use the possibility of compensation judgments provided for in the Penal Code. In addition, time was another disadvantage of the adhesive action. Conducting examination proceedings beyond the scope of the complaint, in order to determine the damage or harm, extended the proceedings, which undoubtedly constituted a significant drawback of the entire process. The liquidation of the institution of an adhesive claim does not mean that the victim's rights are completely withdrawn.

What instead of an adhesive claim?

By eliminating the possibility of bringing an adhesive action, the legislator expanded the possibilities of awarding compensation, redress or, alternatively, interest in favor of the aggrieved party. The compensatory measure adjudged in the form of an excess has been increased to PLN 500,000. The aggrieved party also gained the possibility to pursue his claims by submitting an application for compensation. Such a request may be submitted until the end of the hearing.