Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Baltic Journal of Law & Politics

A Journal of Vytautas Magnus University

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.13

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.102
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.276

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Towards an American Model of Criminal Process: The Reform of the Polish Code of Criminal Procedure

Monika Roclawska
  • Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Faculty of Law (Poland) Contact information Address: Ul. Władysława Bojarskiego 3, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Adam Bulat
  • Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Faculty of Law (Poland) Contact information Address: Ul. Władysława Bojarskiego 3, 87-100 Toruń, Poland
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-10-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bjlp-2014-0001


In September 2013, the Polish Parliament passed an amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure. The legislators decided to expand a number of adversarial elements present in current Polish criminal proceedings. When these changes come into effect (July 1, 2015), Polish criminal procedure will be similar to American regulations, in which the judge’s role is to be an impartial arbitrator, not an investigator.

The authors of the article describe the meaning of the principle of adversarial trial in Poland. They also emphasized relations between this principle and the concept of “material truth”. The changes established by the amendment are shown in perspective of the American definition of adversarial trial. The authors analyze the reform and attempt to predict the problems with new regulations in practice.

Keywords: Polish criminal procedure; American criminal procedure; principle of adversarial trial; concept of “material truth”


  • 1. Boratyńska, Katarzyna, Łukasz Chojniak, and Wojciech Jasiński. Postępowanie karne [Criminal procedure]. Warsaw: C.H. Beck, 2012.Google Scholar

  • 2. Cieślak, Marian. Dzieła wybrane. Tom II. Polska procedura karna. Podstawowe założenia teoretyczne [Selected Works. Volume II. Polish criminal procedure. The basic theoretical assumptions]. Cracow: Jagiellonian University Press, 2011.Google Scholar

  • 3. Corrado, Michael Louis. “The Future of Adversarial Systems: An Introduction to the Papers from the First Conference.” North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation 35 (2010): 285-296.Google Scholar

  • 4. Engel, Christoph. “Preponderance of the evidence versus intime conviction: a behavioral perspective on a conflict between American and Continental European law.” Vermont Law Review 33(3) (2009): 435-468.Google Scholar

  • 5. Feldmeier, John, and Frank Schmalleger. Criminal Law and Procedure for Legal Professionals. New York: Practice Hall, 2012.Google Scholar

  • 6. Goodpaster, Gary. “On the theory of American adversary criminal trial.” The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology 78 (1987): 118-154.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 7. Grzegorczyk, Tomasz, and Janusz Tylman. Polskie postępowanie karne wyd. 8 [Polish criminal proceedings, 8 ed.]. Warsaw: LexisNexis, 2011.Google Scholar

  • 8. Israel, Jerold, Wayne LaFave, Nancy King, and Orin Kerr. Criminal Procedure. 5th ed. Las Vegas: West Law School, 2009.Google Scholar

  • 9. Katz, Lewis R., and Neil P. Cohen. Questions & Answers: Criminal Procedure I & II. Newark, NJ: LexisNexis, 2003.Google Scholar

  • 10. Kuckes Niki. “Civil Due Process, Criminal Due Process.” Yale Law & Policy Review 25 (2006): 1-61.Google Scholar

  • 11. Lach, Arkadiusz. “Zasada kontradyktoryjności w postępowaniu sądowym w procesie karnym de lege lata i de lege ferenda” [“The principle of adversarial trial in a criminal proces de lege lata and de lege ferenda”]. Palestra 5-6 (2012): 124-138.Google Scholar

  • 12. Nita, Barbara, and Światłowski Andrzej. “Kontradyktoryjny proces karny (między prawdą materialną a szybkością postępowania)” [“Adversarial criminal litigation (between the material truth and velocity of proceedings”]. Państwo i Prawo 1 (2012): 33-49.Google Scholar

  • 13. Pawelec, Szymon. “Od wniosku o skazanie bez rozprawy do negocjowania wyroków. Czy zmierzamy w stronę plea bargaining?” [“From a motion to convict the accused without conducting a trial to negotiating a sentence. Are we aiming toward plea bargaining?”]: 218-226. In: Cezary Kulesza, ed. Ocena funkcjonowania porozumień procesowych w praktyce wymiaru sprawiedliwości [The assessment of plea agreements in practice of criminal justice]. Warsaw: Wolters Kluwer, 2009.Google Scholar

  • 14. Senna, Joseph, and Larry Siegel. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 8th ed. Las Vegas: Cengage Learning, 1999.Google Scholar

  • 15. Stefanowicz, Krzysztof. “The victim of the crime in Polish criminal law.” Capital University Law Review 21 (1992): 86-94.Google Scholar

  • 16. Śliwiński, Stanisław. Polski proces karny przed sądem powszechnym. Zasady ogólne. Wydanie II [Polish criminal process before the court. General principles. Edition II]. Warsaw: Lawyers Publishing House, 1961.Google Scholar

  • 17. Świda, Zofia, ed. Postępowanie karne. Cześć ogólna [The criminal proceedings. General part.]. Warsaw: Wolters Kluwer, 2008.Google Scholar

  • 18. The National Centre for Victims of Crime. “Civil Justice for Victims of Crime.” (2008) // http://victimsofcrime.org/docs/NCVBA/standard-cj-brofinal.pdf?sfvrsn=2 (accessed November 21, 2013).Google Scholar

  • 19. Tokarczyk, Roman. Prawo amerykańskie [American Law]. Warsaw: Oficyna, 2011.Google Scholar

  • 20. Walpin, Gerald. “America’s adversarial and jury systems: more likely to do justice.” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 26 (2003): 175-186.Google Scholar

  • 21. Waltoś, Stanisław, and Piotr Hofmański. Proces karny. Zarys systemu [Criminal process. Outline of the systems]. Warsaw: LexisNexis, 2013.Google Scholar

  • 22. Zacharias, Fred C. “Who owns work product?” University of Illinois Law Review 1 (2006): 127-176. Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2013-12-30

Accepted: 2014-05-05

Published Online: 2014-10-08

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

Citation Information: Baltic Journal of Law & Politics, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 1–11, ISSN (Online) 2029-0454, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/bjlp-2014-0001.

Export Citation

© by Monika Roclawska. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Andrea Ryan
The International Journal of Evidence & Proof, 2016, Volume 20, Number 4, Page 305

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in