ACT ON ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW

 

 

ACT ON ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW

of 6th July 1982

 

Chapter 1

General Provisions

 

Article 1

 

  1. The Act defines the principles of practising the profession of an attorney-at-law and the principles of organisation and activity of the bar of attorneys-at-law.
  2. The professional title of “attorney-at-law” is protected by law.

 

Article 2

 

Legal assistance provided by an attorney-at-law shall be aimed at ensuring the legal protection of interests of the entities for which it is carried out.

 

Article 3

 

  1. The profession of an attorney-at-law may be practised by a person who meets the requirements specified in this Act.
  2. An attorney-at-law shall exercise his or her profession with due diligence stemming from the knowledge of law as well as ethical principles binding upon him or her.
  3. An attorney-at-law shall keep confidential all information which has become known to him or her in relation to the provision of legal assistance.
  4. The obligation of professional secrecy shall not be limited in time.
  5. An attorney-at-law may not be released from the obligation of professional secrecy in relation to facts which have become known to him or her while providing legal assistance or handling a case.
  6. The obligation of professional secrecy does not relate to information disclosed pursuant to the provisions of the Act of 16 November 2000 on Counteracting Money Laundering Activities and Financing of Terrorism (Journal of Laws of 2014 No. 455), within the scope specified therein.

 

Article 4

 

The practise of the profession of an attorney-at-law consists in providing legal assistance.

Article 5

  1. Attorneys-at-law are organised within the framework of a professional bar hereinafter referred to as the bar of attorneys-at-law.
  2. Organisational units of the bar of attorneys-at-law having legal personality include regional chambers of attorneys-at-law and the National Council of Attorneys-at-law.
  3. The Minister of Justice exercises supervision over the activities of the bar of attorneys-at-law within the scope and in the forms determined in the act.

Chapter 2

Practising the profession of an-attorney-at-law

 

Article 6

  1. Legal assistance provided by an attorney-at-law consists, in particular, in provision of legal advice and consultations, drafting legal opinions, preparing draft legislation as well as appearing before courts and authorities as an attorney or a defence attorney.
  2. (repealed)
  3. An attorney-at-law has the right to issue a certified true copy of the presented original document within the scope defined under separate regulations. The certified true copy shall include the signature of the attorney-at-law as well as the date and the place of issue, upon the request, the time of issue. If the original document contains any special marks (such as annotations, corrections or defects), the attorney-at-law shall mention this accordingly in the certified true copy.

Article 7

 

(repealed)

 

Article 8

  1. An-attorney-at-law may practise his or her profession within an employment relationship, on the basis of a civil law agreement, in an-attorney-at-law’s office and in a partnership:

1) civil or general partnership, whose partners are attorneys-at-law, advocates, patent attorneys, tax advisers or foreign lawyers with a permanent legal practice pursuant to the provisions of the Act of 5 July 2002 on the provision of legal assistance by foreign lawyers in Poland (Journal of Laws of 2014, item 134);

2) limited liability partnership, whose partners are attorneys-at-law, advocates, patent attorneys, tax advisers or foreign lawyers with a permanent legal practice pursuant to the provisions of the Act of 5 July 2002 on the provision of legal assistance by foreign lawyers in the Republic of Poland;

3) limited or limited joint-stock partnership, whose partners are attorneys-at-law, advocates, patent attorneys, tax advisers or foreign lawyers with a permanent legal practice pursuant to the provisions of the Act of 5 July 2002 on the provision of legal assistance by foreign lawyers in the Republic of Poland.

  1. The sole area of activity of the partnerships mentioned in clause 1 herein shall be limited to providing legal assistance.
  2. An-attorney-at-law is obliged to notify the council of the competent regional chamber of attorneys-at-law about the commencement of practising law, its forms, the address and the name of his  or  her  office  or  partnership, as well as of his or her address for service. An-attorney-at-law is obliged to immediately notify of any amendments to such data. Correspondence in relation to proceedings conducted under the act shall be sent and deemed served to the service address mentioned in the first sentence.
  3. The scope of legal assistance, its deadlines and conditions of its provision as well as the remuneration due shall be specified in an agreeme
  4. Whenever this Act contains a reference to the “employment relationship”, “employment” or “remuneration”, it shall also mean, respectively, the “service relationship”, “being on duty” and “emolument”.
  5. Legal assistance which involves appearing before courts as a defence attorney in penalty proceedings and in proceedings relating to fiscal offences can be provided by an-attorney-at-law on the basis of a civil law agreement, both in an-attorney-at-law’s office or in a partnership, as mentioned in clause 1 hereinabove, provided that the attorney-at-law is not in an employment relationship. The ban on employment does concern researchers and academics.

Article 9

  1. An-attorney-at-law practising his or her profession under an employment relationship shall hold a self-contained position reporting directly to the head of the organisational unit.
  2. If an organisational unit employs two or more attorneys-at-law, one of them shall be entrusted with the task of coordinating the provision of legal assistance within this unit.
  3. In a state or local-government body, an-attorney-at-law shall provide legal assistance in a section or in an organisational unit, in an office or a department, or shall hold a self-contained position for legal matters, reporting directly to the head of the said body. In a state body, an-attorney-at-law may be also employed in another self-contained section or an organisational unit, reporting to the manager thereo
  4. An-attorney-at-law may not be instructed to perform any activity which lies outside the scope of providing legal assistanc

Article 10

An organisational unit shall ensure the participation of an-attorney-at-law in the proceedings:

  • before the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court and before a superior or central body of state administration;
  • before a regionalcourt, an appellate court, the regional administrative court and before a body of the second-instance in administrative proceedings;
  • in which a foreign contractor takes par

Article 11

  1. While carrying out professional duties, an-attorney-at-law shall enjoy the freedom of speech and writing within the limits defined by law and material necessity.
  2. The abuse of freedom referred to in clause 1 hereinabove, which constitutes an insult or defamation of a party, his or her legal representative or defence attorney, a warden, a witness, an expert witness or an interpreter, shall be persecuted upon private accusation and only by way of disciplinary

Article 12

  1. In the course of and in relation to carrying out professional duties, an-attorney-at-law shall enjoy legal protection available to judges and public prosecutor
  2. The Minister of Justice shall, by way of an ordinance, determine the official dress of attorneys-at-law appearing in court proceedings, taking into account the solemn character of such a dress and its adequacy to the dignity of the court and the established tra

Article 13

  1. An-attorney-at-law shall not be bound by any instruction as to the content of a legal opinion.
  2. (repealed)

 

Article 14

An-attorney-at-law shall handle cases before adjudicating bodies in an independent way, taking care of due application of measures for the protection of justified interests of an organisational unit, as prescribed by law.

Article 15

An-attorney-at-law is obliged to withdraw from carrying out professional duties in his or her own case, or if another organisational unit, in which he or she is employed, is an opponent of an organisational unit which has granted him or her the power of attorney, or if the case concerns a person with whom he or she remains in a relationship which could have influence on the result of the case.

Article 16

  1. Assessment of the professional work of an-attorney-at-law shall be carried out by the head of the organisational unit, after obtaining an opinion from an-attorney-at-law indicated by the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law.
  2. (repealed)

 

Article 17

An-attorney-at-law practising the profession under an employment relationship may be simultaneously employed in more than one organisational units and his or her working time may exceed one full-time equivalent.

Article 18

  1. The working time of an-attorney-at-law shall also include the time necessary to arrange certain issues outside the premises of an organisational unit, in particular in courts and other bodies, as well as the time needed to prepare for such activitie
  2. The working time on the organisational unit’s premises may not be shorter than two-fifths of the working time specified in an agreement signed with the attorney-at-law in question.
  3. (repealed)

 

Article 19

  1. The employment relationship with an-attorney-at-law may be terminated upon a notice by the organisational unit on account of an improper performance of duties stemming from this Act and after seeking the opinion from the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law. The said opinion shall be forwarded to the organisational unit in question within 14 days from the date of receiving the notice of the intention to terminate the employment relationship by the organisational unit.
  2. (repealed)

Article 20

 

(repealed)

 

Article 21

  1. An-attorney-at-law may grant further power of attorney (substitution) to another attorney-at-law, attorney-at-law or a foreign lawyer who runs a regular practice under the act on the provision of legal assistance by foreign lawyers in Poland.
  2. Should it be necessary, the dean of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law shall designate ex officio a substitute for the attorney-at-law who has been removed from the list of attorneys-at-law or is temporarily unable to carry out his or her professional activitie The dean’s decision authorises the designated attorney-at-law to handle the given cases and shall be equivalent to granting further power of attorney to represent in court proceedings.

Article 22

  1. An-attorney-at-law may refuse to provide legal assistance only due to compelling rea
  2. When terminating the power of attorney, a commission contract or an employment contract, an-attorney-at-law shall make every effort to ensure that the termination will not adversely affect the course of the case in question.

Article 221

The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law shall be entitled to audit and assess the practice of the profession by an-attorney-at-law and a foreign lawyer who has been entered on the list of foreign lawyers maintained by the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law. The audit and assessment shall be carried out by special inspectors appointed by the council from among attorneys-at-law.

Article 222

The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law, on the basis of a medical certificate and after carrying out a detailed explanatory proceedings may, at the request of the President of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law or the dean of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law, adopt a resolution testifying about the permanent inability to practise the profession by an-attorney-at-law. Should such proceedings be instituted, the council may suspend the attorney-at-law in question for the duration of the proceedings.

Article 223

  1. The costs of legal assistance provided by an-attorney-at-law ex officio shall be borne by the State Treasury.
  2. The Minister of Justice, after seeking the opinion of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law, shall determine by way of an ordinance the detailed principles relating to the incurring of costs mentioned in the above clause, taking into account the methods of determining such costs, expenses constituting the basis of such determination and the maximum amount of fees for the assistance in question.

Article 224

 

  1. An-attorney-at-law practising the profession under an employment relationship shall be entitled to remuneration and other benefits specified in the collective agreement or in regulations on remuneration of employees, which are binding in the organisational unit employing the attorney-at-law in question. Such remuneration shall not be lower than the remuneration of a senior specialist or equivale Should the right to bonuses be dependent on the condition of managing a team of employees, such a requirement shall not be applicable to an-attorney-at-law.
  2. An-attorney-at-law shall be entitled to additional remuneration for not less than 65% of the costs of court representation awarded by the court to the party that he or she represents or awarded on the basis of an out-of-court settlement, amicable proceedings, international arbitrage or in the enforcement proceedings, provided that such costs have been collected from the other party. In the public sector, the amount and dates of payment of remuneration shall be specified in a civil law agreeme

Article 225

 

  1. The fees for activities performed by attorneys-at-law practising their profession in attorney-at-law’s offices or in partnerships, as referred to in article 8 clause 1, and employed on the basis of a civil law agreement, shall be specified in an agreement with a clie
  2. The Minister of Justice, after seeking the opinion of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law and the National Bar Council, shall determine by way of an ordinance the amount of fees for activities performed by attorneys-at-law when appearing before judicial bodies, which constitute the basis for awarding the costs of legal representation by courts, having regard to the fact that determining a fee higher than the minimum rate, as referred to in clause 3, but not higher than its sixth multiple, may by justified by the type and complexity of the case as well as the workload undertaken by the attorney-at-law in question.
  3. The Minister of Justice, after seeking the opinion of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law and the National Bar Council, shall determine by way of an ordinance the minimum rates for activities of attorneys-at-law, as referred to in clause 1, taking into account the type and complexity of the case as well as the workload undertaken by the attorney-at-law in question.

Article 226

 

Social insurance contributions of an-attorney-at-law shall be paid by the organisational units employing the attorney-at-law in question, partnerships referred to in article 8 clause 1, or they shall be paid personally by the attorney-at-law practising the profession in an-attorney-at-law’s office or in partnerships specified in the said article 8 clause 1.

Article 227

  1. An-attorney-at-law shall be covered by the mandatory professional indemnity insurance for all damages inflicted while performing the activities referred to in article 4 clause 1 and article 6 clause 1.
  2. The provisions of clause 1 above do not infringe the provisions of article 120 of the Labour Code.
  3. The insurance obligation referred to in clause 1 above shall not apply to attorneys-at-law who are currently not practising the professi
  4. The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law, having jurisdiction based on the place of residence of an-attorney-at-law, shall carry out regular inspection to ensure that a valid insurance contract, as referred to in clause 1 above, has been entered into by the attorney-at-law in question. The fulfilment of this obligation shall be ascertained on the basis of an insurance policy issued by the insurance company and presented by an-attorney-at-law, or another insurance document confirming that an insurance agreement has been validly entered into.
  5. The Minister of Justice shall supervise the performance of the tasks specified in clause 4 above. The deans of regional chambers of attorneys-at-law shall file suitable annual reports on the inspections carried out and shall present them to the Minister of Justice until the 15th day of March each year.

 

 

Article 228

The minister competent for issues relating to financial institutions, in cooperation with the Minister of Justice and after seeking the opinion of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law and the Polish Chamber of Insurers, shall  determine, by way of an ordinance, the detailed scope of the mandatory insurance referred to in Article 227, the commencement date of the insurance duty and the minimum guarantee sum, taking into consideration in particular the specifics of the profession and the scope of performed tasks.

Article 229

  1. Data needed to file in an electronic signature for the purposes of electronic enforcement proceedings are provided to attorneys-at-law after submitting an application to the appropriate regional chamber of attorneys-at-law.
  2. Attorneys-at-law are permitted to communicate with courts in electronic enforcement proceedings using the electronic signature verified by a valid qualified certificate.
  3. The application forms mentioned in clause 1 above will be transmitted by the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law to the appropriate court alongside a confirmation of registration (membership) of an-attorney-at-law in the respective regional chamber of attorneys-at-law. Persons intending to communicate with the court in the way stipulated in clause 2 above shall notify so the court by the agency of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law, while supplying the court with appropriate data needed to verify the electronic signature.
  4. Information referred to in clause 3 above shall be transmitted by the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law to the court within 14 days of receiving the application.

Chapter 3

Qualifications necessary for practising the profession of an-attorney-at-law

 

Article 23

 

The right to practise the profession of an-attorney-at-law arises upon the entry on the list of attorneys-at-law and after taking an oath.

Article 24

  1. In order to be entered into the register of attorneys-at-law, the candidate should:
    • complete higher legal studies in the Republic of Poland and has earned a master’s degree, or has completed higher legal education abroad, provided it is recognised in the Republic of Poland;
    • (repealed);
    • enjoy full public rights;
    • have full legal capacity to act;
    • be a person of good character whose previous behaviour warrants the appropriate practice of the profession of an-attorney-at-law;
    • complete training for attorneys-at-law in the Republic of Poland, followed by the exam, subject to the provisions of article 25 clause 1 and 2.
  1. The entry on the list of attorneys-at-law of a person who has obtained a positive result in the exam, or persons referred to in article 25 clause 1 and 2, shall take place upon request and on the basis of a resolution of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law with jurisdiction based on the place where the training for attorneys-at-law took place, the place of the request or the place of residence of the candidate in question.

2a.    The request referred to in clause 2 above shall be accompanied by:

  • a confirmation of no criminal record from the National Penal Register, dated not earlier than one month prior to the confirmation request;
  • in case of persons born before 1 August 1972, a declaration referred to in article 7 clause 1 of the Act of 18 October 2006 on Disclosing Information about Documents of the State Security Bodies from 1944-1990 and their Content (Journal of Laws of 2013, item 1388), or information referred to in Article 7 clause 3a thereof;
  • in case of persons referred to in article 25 clause 1 subclause 4-5, a contract of employment alongside documents specifying the scope of duties, or declarations from an employer specifying such duties; or civil law agreements alongside a declaration of registering with appropriate tax authorities and a confirmation that any due tax has been paid;
  • in case of a person referred to in article 25 clause 1 subclause 5, a document certifying the award of a Ph.D. degree in legal sciences;
  • in case of persons referred to in article 25 clause 1 subclause 4b and 5b, a declaration of an attorney-at-law or an-attorney-at-law certifying that the candidate in question has been undertaking activities requiring legal knowledge and directly connected with the provision of legal assistance by an attorney-at-law or an-attorney-at-law;
  • in case of persons referred to in article 25 clause 1subclause 4c and 5c, documents certifying an employment record of at least three years in offices of public authorities or in state organisational units, whereby the candidate in question has been undertaking activities requiring legal knowledge and directly connected with preparing draft legislation, ordinances or local by-laws;
  • a document certifying the attainment of a positive result in a judge, prosecutor or notary exam.

2b.    (repealed)

2c.    The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law may refuse entry on the list of attorneys-at-law only in situations when such an entry would constitute a breach of the provisions of clause 1 above. The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law shall be entitled to inspect the personal and disciplinary files of a person wishing to be entered onto the said list.

  1. (repealed)
  2. (repealed)
  3. (repealed)

Article 241

Passing the attorney-at-law’s exam entitles a candidate to file an application to be entered on the list of attorneys-at-law within the period of 10 years from the date of a resolution on the results of the attorney-at-law’s exam.

Article 25

  1. The requirement to complete an-attorney-at-law’s training and pass the attorney-at-law’s exam shall not apply to:
  • persons holding the title of a professor or a PhD post-doctoral title (dr hab.) in legal sciences;
  • persons who have held the position of an adviser or a senior adviser at the Office of the State Treasury Solicitors’ Office for at least three years, or have been working as a bailiff;
  • persons who have held the position of a judge, prosecutor, attorney-at-law or a notary;

3a)    persons who have held the position of a court assessor for the period of at

         least 2 years;

  • persons who have passed the judge or persecutor exam after 1 January 1991, or the notary exam after 22 April 1991, and who, within the period of five years prior to the request for registration, for the period of at least three years in total:
  1. have held the position of a court assessor, prosecutor assessor, court official, senior court official, court trainee, prosecutor trainee, prosecutor’s assistant or a judge’s assistant, or have been employed in the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Tribunal or in an international judicial authority, in particular in the Court of Justice of the EU or the European Court of Human Rights, while carrying out the duties equivalent to those of a judge’s assistant, or
  2. under an employment contract or a civil law agreement, have been undertaking activities requiring the knowledge of law and directly related to the provision of legal assistance by an attorney-at-law or an-attorney-at-law in an attorney-at-law’s office, attorney-at-law team or in a civil, general, limited-liability, limited or limited joint-stock partnership, as provided for in article 4a clause 1 of the Act dated 26 May 1982 on the Bar Council (Journal of Laws of 2014, item 635, 993 and 1778), or in an-attorney-at-law’s office or in a civil, general, limited-liability, limited or limited joint-stock partnership, as provided for in article 8 clause 1, or
  3. have been employed in offices of public authorities or state organisational units, undertaking activities requiring legal knowledge and directly connected with preparing draft legislation, ordinances or local by-laws;
  • persons who hold a PhD title in legal sciences and who within the period of five years prior to the request for registration, and for the total duration of three years:
  1. have held the position of a court official, senior court official, court trainee, prosecutor trainee, prosecutor’s assistant or a judge’s assistant, or
  2. under an employment contract or a civil law agreement, have been undertaking activities requiring the knowledge of law and directly connected with the provision of legal assistance by an attorney-at-law or an-attorney-at-law in an attorney-at-law’s office, attorney-at-law team or in a civil, general, limited-liability, limited or limited joint-stock partnership, as provided for in article 4a clause 1 of the Act of 26 May 1982 on the Bar Council, or in an-attorney-at-law’s office or in a civil, general, limited-liability, limited or limited joint-stock partnership, as provided for in article 8 clause 1, or
  3. have been employed in offices of public authorities or state organizational units, undertaking activities requiring legal knowledge and directly connected with preparing draft legislation, ordinances or local by-laws, or
  4. have been employed in the Constitutional Tribunal or in an international judicial authority, in particular the Court of Justice of the EU or the European Court of Human Rights, while carrying out the duties equivalent to those of a judge’s assistant.
    1. The following persons may take the attorney-at-law’s exam before the board referred to in article 36, without the obligation to have completed the attorney-at-law’s training:
  • persons holding a PhD title in legal sciences;
  • persons who, for the period of at least four years but not longer than six years prior to applying to be admitted to take the examination, have been employed as a court official, senior court official, prosecutor’s assistant, judge’s assistant, or have been employed in the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Tribunal or in an international judicial authority, in particular the Court of Justice of the EU or the European Court of Human Rights, while carrying out the duties equivalent to those of a judge’s assistant;
  • persons who, after completing higher legal studies and for the period of at least four years, but not longer than six years prior to applying to be admitted to take the examination, have been undertaking, under an employment contract or a civil law agreement, activities requiring the knowledge of law and directly connected with providing legal assistance by an-attorney-at-law or an attorney-at-law in an-attorney-at-law’s office or in a civil, general, limited-liability, limited or limited joint-stock partnership, as mentioned in Article 8 clause 1, or in an attorney-at-law’s office, attorney-at-law team or in a civil, general, limited-liability, limited or limited joint-stock partnership, as mentioned in article 4a clause 1 of the Act of 26 May 1982 on the Bar Council;
  • persons who, after completing higher legal studies and for the period of at least four years but not longer than six years prior to applying to take the examination, have been employed in offices of public institutions, where they have been undertaking activities requiring legal knowledge and directly connected with providing legal assistance to such offices;

4a)    persons who, after completing the training for civil servants and for the period of at least four years but not longer than six years prior to applying to be admitted taking the examination, have been undertaking activities requiring legal knowledge and directly connected with  preparing draft legislation, ordinances or local by-laws;

  • persons who have passed the judge, prosecutor, notary or bailiff exam;
  • persons who hold the position of an adviser or a senior adviser at the Office of the State Treasury Solicitors’ Office;
  • persons who within the time frame specified in article 24 have not filed the request to be entered on the list of attorneys-at-law;
  • persons named in article 29 clause 2;
  1. Persons named in clause 2 above must meet the conditions laid down in article 24 clause 1, subclause 1, 3-5.
  2. In case of part-time employment, time frames mentioned in clause 1 subclause 4-5 and clause 2 subclause 2-4 above shall be extended accordingly.
  3. In case of court and prosecutor legal training undertaken on an out-of-regular basis, time frames mentioned in clause 1 subclause 4 and 5 above, the duration of these trainings shall be credited towards these time frames proportionally, provided that every month of the course equals to ¼ of a month.

Article 26

 

Persons  who  practice  the  profession  of  a  judge,  prosecutor,  notary,  bailiff, court assessor, prosecutor assessor or a notary assessor, or who are currently undertaking the judge, prosecutor or notary training, may not be simultaneously entered on the register of attorneys-at-law or practise the profession of an-attorney-at-law.

Article 27

 

  1. An oath to be taken by an-attorney-at-law shall be worded as follows: “I solemnly swear to contribute to the protection and reinforcement of the legal order of the Republic of Poland by practising the profession of an-attorney-at-law, perform my professional duties in a diligent way and according to the provisions of law, respect professional secrecy as well as to act with dignity and in an honest way, guided by the principles of attorney-at-law’s ethics and justice”.
  2. The oath shall be taken before the dean of the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law where the attorney-at-law in question has been registered.

Article 28

  1. Suspension of the right to practise the profession of an-attorney-at-law takes place if the person in question:
    • practices the profession of an attorney-at-law;
    • has commenced employment with judicial authorities, prosecuting authorities or a notary’s office;
    • has commenced employment at the State Treasury Solicitors’ Office;
  2. The suspension of the right to practise the profession of an-attorney-at-law shall also take place when a disciplinary decision to apply this punishment becomes final and binding.
  3. The suspension of the right to practise the profession of an-attorney-at-law is not applicable to persons employed as attorneys-at-law with authorities referred to in clause 1 subclause 2 above.
  4. The resolution of the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law on suspending the right to practise the profession of an-attorney-at-law shall be adopted within 30 days from the date when information about the event referred to in clause 1 above becomes known.
  5. The resolution referred to in clause 4 above may be appealed against to the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law within 14 days from the receipt of the resolution by the attorney-at-law in question. The resolution of the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law shall be made within 30 days from the receipt of the appea
  6. The attorney-at-law in question may lodge an appeal against the resolution of the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law with the Minister of Justice, pursuant to the provisions of the Code of Administrative Proceeding
  7. The attorney-at-law in question as well as the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law may lodge a complaint against the final decision of the Minister of Justice with the administrative court within 30 days from the receipt of the dec

Article 29

Striking a person off the list of attorneys-at-law shall take place in the following circumstances:

  • at the request of an-attorney-at-law;
  • (repealed);
  • in case of even partial limitation of his or her legal capacity to act;
  • in the event of an-attorney-at-law in question being deprived of his or her public rights pursuant to a court judgement;

4a)    in the event of a failure to pay membership fees for a period exceeding one year;

  • in the event of death of an-attorney-at-law;

5a)    (no longer in force);

  • a disciplinary ruling or a court judgement depriving an-attorney-at-law of the right to exercise the profession.

Article 291

The resolution of the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law on removing a person from the list of attorneys-at-law shall be made within 30 days from the date when information about an event referred to in clause 29 subclause 1 and 3-5 becomes known. The provisions of article 28 clause 5-7 shall apply accordingly.

Article 292

  1. A person struck off the list of attorneys-at-law due to reasons referred to in article 29 subclause 1, 3-4a and 6 shall at his or her own request be reentered on the list, provided that he or she meets the conditions referred to in article 24 clause 1, and with account being taken of article 65 clause 2c.
  2. If a person referred to in clause 1 above has not been practising the profession of an-attorney-at-law for at least 10 years, he or she shall be subject to re-registration on condition that he or she has passed the attorney-at-law’s examination. This shall not apply to persons referred to in article 25 clause 1.

Article 293

The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law may strike an-attorney-at-law off the list  of attorneys-at-law because of an act committed before the registration, provided that this event was not known to the council at the time of entering him or her on the list and it could constitute an obstacle to the registration.

 

Article 30

  1. Should any disciplinary proceedings be in progress against an-attorney-at-law, striking such a person off the list of attorneys-at-law can be denied until the end of such proceedings, even despite the request of the attorney-at-law referred to in article 29 clause 1.
  2. (repealed).

Article 31

  1. The resolution of the council of regional chamber of attorneys-at-law on entering a person on the list of attorneys-at-law shall be adopted within 30 days from the day when the application was filed.
  2. The resolution referred to in clause 1 above may be appealed against to the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law within 14 days from the receipt of such a resolution.

2a     the person in question may lodge an appeal against the resolution of the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law, which refuses entry on the list of attorneys-at-law, with the Minister of Justice, pursuant to the Code of Administrative Procedure.

2b     the person in question and the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law may lodge a complaint against the final decision of the Minister of Justice with the administrative court within 30 days from the receipt of such a decision.

  1. Should the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law fail to adopt a resolution within 30 days from the receipt of the request to be registered as an-attorney-at-law or should the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law fail to adopt a resolution within 30 days from the receipt of an appeal, the person in question shall be entitled to lodge a complaint with the administrative court.

 

Article 311

  1. Every time a resolution on entering a person on the list of attorneys-at-law is adopted, it shall be forwarded by the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law to the Minister of Justice, together with personal files, within 7 days in case of the list of attorneys-at-law and within 30 days in case of the list of trainee attorneys-at-law. The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law shall notify the Minister of Justice within 7 days of any resolution refusing entry on the list of attorneys-at-law and within 30 days in case of the list of trainee attorneys-at-law.
  2. Should the request to be entered on the list fail to include all required documents or information, the Minister of Justice shall return the resolution together with the file to the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law to be supplemented.

Article 312

  1. Entry on the register of attorneys-at-law or trainee attorneys-at-law shall be considered complete if the Minister of Justice does not sign objection to such an entry within 30 days from the receipt of such a resolution together with the personal file of the candidate. In the event referred to in article 311 clause 2, the duration of that period runs from the day of the second receipt of the resolution together with a personal file. The Minister of Justice shall express such an objection in the form of an administrative decision.
  2. The objection of the Minister of Justice may be appealed against to the administrative court by the interested person or an authority within the bar of attorneys-at-law within 30 days from the receipt of such an objection.
  3. Without delay, after the entry on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law, the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law shall notify the trainee about the date of taking of the oath. The provisions of article 27 shall be applied accordingly.

Chapter 4

Attorney-at-law’s training and examination

Article 32.

 

  1. The aim of the attorney-at-law’s training is to prepare the trainee to practise the profession of an-attorney-at-law in the proper and independent manner, in particular to develop skills relating to legal representation, drafting letters, contracts and legal opinions and to learn the rules of professional conduct.
  2. The attorney-at-law’s training starts each year on 1 January and lasts for three years.
  3. The attorney-at-law’s training takes place in an-attorney-at-law’s office, in a partnership of attorneys-at-law or attorneys-at-law and attorneys-at-law or in organisational units.

3a.      During the first-year trainees receive training on the functioning of common courts and prosecutor’s office. Every year the President of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law enters into an agreement with the Director of the National Training Centre for the Officials of the Common Courts of Law and the Public Prosecutor’s Office on courses for trainees dealing with the functioning of common courts and prosecutor’s office. The agreement specifies the training’s agenda, which takes into account both practical and theoretical aspects relating to the functioning of common courts and public prosecutor’s office, its duration and organization as well as remuneration due for organizing each course.

  1. The trainee who has completed the attorney-at-law’s training receives a certificate of completion of the attorney-at-law’s training issued by the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law, however not later than 14 days from the completion of the attorney-at-law’s training.

 

Article 321.

 

  1. The attorney-at-law’s training is a paid training.
  2. The training offered to trainee attorneys-at-law is covered from fees paid by the trainee attorneys-at-law to the council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law.
  3. The Minister of Justice, upon seeking the opinion of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law shall determine, by way of an ordinance, the amount of the annual fee, guided by the need to ensure adequate level of training to the trainees, with the reservation that the amount of such a fee may not be higher than six times the amount of a minimum salary.
  4. The regional council of attorneys-at-law may exempt a trainee attorney-at-law from the duty to pay the fee referred to in clause 3, in total or in part, as well as defer its payment or allow payment in instalments.
  5. Should a resolution to exempt a trainee attorney-at-law from the duty to pay the fee in total or in part be adopted, the costs of training of such a trainee attorney-at-law shall be covered, proportionally up to the amount of such exemption, from the own funds of the relevant council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law.

Article 33.

 

  1. Recruitment for training of attorneys-at-law shall be carried out in the form of an entrance examination, hereinafter referred to as the “entrance examination”.
  2. A person who meets the criteria specified in article 24 clause 1 subclause 1 and 3-5 and who has obtained a positive result at the entrance examination may become a trainee attorney-at-law.
  3. Entry on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law takes place on the basis of a resolution of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law competent in relation to the place of filing an application referred to in article 333 clause 2. Obtaining a positive result at the entrance examination entitles the candidate to file an application to be entered on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law within 2 years from the date of  receipt of the resolution on the results of the entry examination.
  4. A person meeting the requirements referred to in clause 2 and 3 may not be refused entry on the list.
  5. The provisions of article 3 clause 3-5, article 11, article 12 clause 1, article 23, article 24 clause 1 subclause 1, 3-5, clause 2a subclause 1 and clause 2c and article 311 shall apply accordingly to trainee attorneys-at-law and to the proceedings relative to the entry on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law.
  6. The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law adopts a resolution on entering a candidate on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law within 30 days from the date on which the application was filed.
  7. The resolution referred to in clause 6 may be appealed against to the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law within 14 days from receipt of the resolution.
  8. The final resolution refusing entry on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law may be complained against to the administrative court within 30 days of receipt of the resolution.
  9. In the case of no resolution being adopted by the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law within 30 days from the date on which the application to be entered on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law was filed or in the case of no resolution being adopted by the Presidium of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law  within 30 days  from receipt of the appeal, the applicant may complain to the administrative court about failure to act.

Article 331.

  1. The entrance examinations shall be carried out by examination boards for attorney-at-law’s trainings affiliated with the Minister of Justice, appointed by order, hereinafter referred to as the “selection boards”. The jurisdiction of a selection board covers the jurisdiction of one or more councils of regional chambers of attorneys-at-law.

1a.      The Minister of Justice, not later than 21 days prior to the appointed date of the entrance exam may appoint more than one selection board within the jurisdiction of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law to carry out examinations, especially if justified by organizational reasons, in particular a high number of candidates taking the examination. Provisions of article 335 clause 5 shall not apply.

  1. The Minister of Justice is a superior authority in relation to the selection board.
  2. The entrance examination shall consist in testing the knowledge of a candidate aspiring to join an-attorney-at-law’s training, hereinafter referred to as the “candidate”, within the area of substantive and procedural penal law, substantive and procedural petty offences law, penal fiscal law, substantive and procedural civil law, family and guardianship law, business law, commercial companies law, labour and social insurance law, substantive and procedural administrative law, court and administrative proceedings, European Union law, constitutional law, law on the system of courts and public prosecutor’s offices, law on the Bar, law on the bar of attorneys-at-law and other legal protection bodies operating in the territory of the Republic of Poland.
  3. The entrance examination shall be organised once a year, on the dates specified by the Minister of Justice.
  4. Should circumstances arise which prevent a given selection board from carrying out the entrance examination on the dates referred to in clause 4, the Minister of Justice shall indicate additional dates for organising an entrance examination by this selection board. The chairman of the selection board notifies candidates of this fact with a registered letter and places a notice on the notice board in the seat of the designated regional chamber of attorneys-at-law. The provisions of article 75b clause 5, 7-11 of the act Law on the Bar dated 26 May 1982 shall apply accordingly excluding the term referred to in article 75b clause 9 of this act.

 

Article 332.

  1. Provisions of article 75b of the act dated 26 May 1982 – Law on the Bar – shall apply to prepare test questions for the entrance examination for candidates aspiring to join the attorney-at-law’s training and to print and deliver test questions to individual selection boards.

Article 333.

  1. The Minister of Justice shall publish by 30 June each year in the Public Information Bulletin an announcement about the entrance examination, which shall specify in particular:

1) the deadline for filing an application to take the entrance examination to the attorney-at-law’s training, hereinafter referred to as the “application”;

2) territorial jurisdiction of each selection board and the address of its registered office;

3) dates of the entrance examination;

4) examination fee referred to in article 334 clause 1.

  1. The application referred to in clause 1 subclause 1, should contain:
  • application to be admitted to the entrance examination;
  • personal questionnaire;
  • curriculum Vita (CV);
  • copy of a document confirming completion of higher legal studies in the Republic of Poland and obtaining a master’s degree or completion of higher legal education abroad which is recognised in the Republic of Poland, or a certificate confirming that the master’s examination has been passed;
  • (repealed)
  • original of the proof of paying the examination fee;
  • 3 photographs meeting the requirements for issuing identity cards.

2a.      Instead of documents referred to in clause 2 subclause 4, it is possible to submit a certificate confirming that the candidate has passed all examinations and has undergone a training programme envisaged in the curriculum of higher legal studies and has an appointed date for the MA examination. Admission to the entrance examination is conditional upon submitting by the candidate the documents referred to in clause 2 subclause 4 in the registered office of the selection board not later than 7 days prior to the entrance examination.

  1. The application shall be filed with the selection board by the candidate not later than 45 days prior to the commencement of the entrance examination. The deadline for filing applications shall not be reinstated.
  2. If the application does not meet the formal requirements specified in clause 2, the chairman of the selection board shall call on the candidate by registered mail to remove the defects according to the procedure specified in article 64 § 2 of the Code of Administrative Procedure.
  3. Should the candidate fail to remove the formal defects in the application pursuant to clause 4 or does not meet the condition specified in clause 2a, the application shall be disregarded. The decision to disregard the application is made by the chairman of the selection board by way of a decision and notifies the candidate thereof by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. The decision may be complained against to the Minister of Justice. If the complaint is justified, the chairman of the selection board may annul the contested order and re-examine the case without sending the files to the Minister of Justice.
  4. Should the candidate fail to pay the entrance examination fee, the chairman of the selection board shall call on such a candidate to make the said payment within 7 days, pursuant to the procedure specified in clause 4.
  5. Should, despite the call referred to in clause 6, the candidate fails to pay the entrance examination fee, the chairman of the board shall issue a decision to return the application. The decision may be appealed against to the Minister of Justice.
  6. If the application was filed after the deadline referred to in clause 3, the chairman of the board shall issue a decision refusing to admit the candidate to the entrance examination. The decision may be appealed against to the Minister of Justice.
  7. The chairman of the selection board shall notify the candidate qualifying for the entrance examination about the time and place of the entrance examination by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt at least 14 days prior to date of the entrance examination.

Article 334.

 

  1. The candidate shall pay the entrance examination fee which shall constitute the income of the state budget.

1a.      In case of a decision to disregard the application, a decision to refuse the candidate to be admitted to the entrance examination, or if the candidate submits, not later than 14 days prior to the entrance examination, a written statement about withdrawing from the entrance examination, two-thirds of the paid fee shall be reimbursed upon a written request of the candidate submitted to the chairman of the selection committee within 30 days  from the date of the request.

  1. The Minister of Justice, after seeking the opinion of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law shall determine, by way of an ordinance, the amount of the fee – not exceeding the equivalent of minimum remuneration referred to in the Minimum Wages Act dated 10 October 2002 (Journal of Laws No 200, item 1679 and of 2004 No 240 item 2407 and of 2005 No 157 item 1314), hereinafter referred to as “minimum wage” – taking into account the need to carry out the entrance examination in the proper and effective manner.

Article 335.

  1. The Minister of Justice shall appoint the selection board from among the persons whose knowledge, experience and authority offer a warranty of the proper conduct of the entrance examination.
  2. The selection board shall be composed of seven members. The board shall include:
  • three representatives of the Minister of Justice; a judge or a judge emeritus may also be a representative of the Minister of Justice, upon the consent thereof;
  • two representatives delegated by the National Council of Attorneys-at-law;
  • a researcher, an academic or a member of the teaching staff at the law faculty in a higher educational institution in the Republic of Poland or the at Polish Academy of Science and holding at least a post-doctoral Ph.D. degree (dr hab.) in legal sciences;
  • a public prosecutor holding at least a position of a public prosecution officer of the regional public prosecution office, also a public prosecutor emeritus.
  1. Persons referred to in clause 2 subclause 1 and 3 may not be attorneys-at-law.
  2. The Minister of Justice shall appoint one of his/her representatives as the chairman of the selection board. In the absence of the chairman, the deputy chairman is authorized to act in his or her capacity.

4a.      The selection board ensures the proper conduct of the entrance examination. The chairman of the selection board manages its operations and represents the board before third parties.

  1. The selection board’s term of office shall last 2 years.
  2. Failure to delegate representatives to the selection board by the obliged bodies or non-appearance of a member of the board shall not result in a discontinuation of the works of the board.
  3. The chairman and the members of the selection board shall be entitled to reimbursement of costs of travel and accommodation as specified in the regulations on payments available to an employee employed with a state or local government unit of the public sector during domestic business trips.
  4. The chairman and the members of the selection board who are not employed by governmental administration shall be entitled to remuneration for their work at the selection board.
  5. The council of the regional chamber of attorneys-at-law having jurisdiction over the registered address of the selection board shall provide administrative and technical services for the selection board. It shall include organisation of entrance examinations as a task delegated by the governmental administration.
  6. Funds transferred for the delegated task referred to in clause 9 shall be used by competent councils to cover the costs or organising entrance examinations and the expenses related to the activities of the board.
  7. The expenses related to the activities of the board, including organization of entrance examinations as well as remuneration of the members of the selection board shall be covered from the part of the state budget available to the Minister of Justice.
  8. The Minister of Justice, after seeking the opinion of the National Council of Attorneys-at-law, shall determine, by way of an ordinance:

1) the procedure and the deadline for proposing candidates to be members of the selection board as well as appointing and dismissing members of the selection board;

2) remuneration of the chairman and of the members of the selection board, taking into account  the number of candidates who have submitted their applications to take the entrance exam, the scope of their work and the workload related to the organization of the entrance examination as well as the procedure for paying the remuneration;

3) detailed procedure and manner of conducting the entrance examination, in particular:

  1. a) the manner of operation of the board,
  2. b) the manner of organising administrative and technical services to the board by the councils of regional chambers of attorneys-at-law, including transfers of funds, exercise of supervision over spending them and settlement of expenditures related to such services

 – taking into account the need to ensure correct, punctual and effective recruitment for the attorney-at-law’s training as well as the organisation of the entrance exam while ensuring impartiality of  the works of the selection board.

Article 336.

 

  1. Membership in the selection board shall expire in the event of death of a member of the board.
  2. The Minister of Justice shall recall a member of the board in the event of:
  • his or her resignation;
  • an illness making it permanently impossible for him or her to hold the position of a board member;
  • failure to meet the requirements referred to in article 335 clause 2,
  • failure to perform or inadequate performance of the duties, with the reservation that recalling a member of the board referred to in article 335 clause 2 subclause 2 takes place following consent from the National Council of Attorneys-at-law,
  • being convicted with a judgement having the force of res judicata for an intentional offence triable on public prosecution.
  1. The Minister of Justice may recall a member of the board in the event when penal proceedings have been instigated against such a person in relation to a suspicion of committing an intentional offence triable on public prosecution.
  2. Expiry of membership or dismissal of a member from the board during the procedure of entrance examinations shall not result in discontinuation of the works of the selection board.
  3. In the event of expiry of membership or dismissal of a member of the selection board prior to the expiry of the term of office, the Minister of Justice within 7 days shall appoint a new member for the period until the end of the current term of office.
  4. (repealed)

Article 337.

  1. A member of the selection board shall be excluded from the works of the board during the period of entrance examination if a candidate qualified for the entrance examination is:

1) his or her spouse,

2) a person remaining with him/her in the following relationship:

  1. a) consanguinity or affinity up to the second degree,
  2. b) adoption,

3) a person remaining with him/her in cohabitation:

4) a person remaining with him/her in the personal relationship of another kind which might raise doubts as to the impartiality of a member of the selection board.

  1. The reasons for exclusion shall continue even after termination of marriage or adoption.
  2. Prior to the commencement of the entrance examination the members of the selection board shall make written declarations that they do not remain in any of the relationships referred to in clause 1 with any of the candidates qualified for the entrance examination.
  3. Making untrue declarations or concealing the truth in a declaration referred to in clause 3 shall entail liability pursuant to the provisions of article 233 § 1 of the Penal Code.

Article 338.

  1. The entrance examination shall take place in the presence of at least three members of the selection board.
  2. A candidate’s absence during the entrance examination or appearing at the entrance examination once it has started, regardless of the reasons, shall be considered a withdrawal from participating in the entrance examination.
  3. During the entrance examination the candidates may not use any texts of legal acts, commentaries, judicial decisions or any other assistance and may not have any devices used for transmitting or receiving information.
  4. Chairman of the selection board shall exclude from entrance examination a candidate who used the assistance of other persons during the entrance examination, used unauthorized materials or equipment, was helping other candidates or in any other way was interfering with the progress of the entrance examination.
  5. The exclusion referred to in clause 4 takes place by way of a decision which cannot be appealed against.
  6. The decision to exclude a candidate provides the basis for issuing a resolution by the selection board about the negative result of the entrance examination.

Article 339.

 

  1. The entrance examination shall consist in solving a test composed of a set of 150 questions with three proposed answers per question, out of which only one is correct. The candidate may choose only one answer which he or she marks on the answer sheet which constitutes an integral part of the test. One point shall be awarded for each correct answer.

1a.      The choice of the answer consists in marking on the answer sheet one of the three proposed answers (A or B or C).

1b.      It is not allowed to change the marked answer.

1c.      The sole basis for determining the candidate’s result are the answers marked on the answer sheet.

1d.      The correctness of the answers shall be determined according to the legal situation in force on the date of the entrance examination.

  1. The test shall be checked by the selection board composed of the same persons who carried out the examination.
  2. A candidate who obtained at least 100 points in the test shall receive a positive result at the entrance examination.
  3. Minutes of the entrance examination shall be drafted immediately and signed by the members participating in the entrance examination. Members of the board may submit their comments to the minutes.
  4. The chairman of the selection board shall forward the minutes to the Minister of Justice within 7 days from the day of drafting them.
  5. Following the examination, all documentation related to the organisation of the entrance examination shall be handed over by the chairman of the selection board to the competent regional council of the chamber of attorneys-at-law. A protocol thereof shall be drawn up. A copy of the protocol shall be handed over by the chairman of the selection board to the Minister of Justice within 7 days from its preparation.

Article 3310.

  1. After the entrance examination, the selection board shall determine the result obtained by a candidate in the form of a resolution and shall serve a certified copy to the candidate and to the Minister of Justice.
  2. The chairman of the selection board shall announce the results of the entrance exam immediately.
  3. A candidate may appeal against the resolution of the board concerning the result of the examination to the Minister of Justice within 14 days from its receipt. The Minister of Justice shall decide the appeal in the form of an administrative decision.
  4. If during re-examination of the case, following the appeal to the resolution referred to in clause 1, any errors in calculations or any obvious clerical mistakes are identified in the resolution of the selection board, the Minister of Justice shall revoke the resolution and hand over the case to the selection board for re-examination.  These provisions shall not affect article 138 §  2 of the Code of Administrative Procedure.
  5. The Minister of Justice shall notify regional councils of the chambers of attorneys-at-law of the results of the entrance examination and shall publish in the Bulletin of Public Information the names and surnames of persons who have obtained a positive result at the examination as well as the names of their parents.  

 

Article 34.

  1. An employee entered on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law, who has obtained permission from the employer to participate in attorney-at-law’s training, shall be entitled to time off from work for the purpose of participating in obligatory trainings with the right to retain remuneration.
  2. An employee entered on the list of trainee attorneys-at-law, who has not obtained permission from the employer to participate in attorney-at-law’s training, shall be entitled to time off from work for the purpose of participating in obligatory trainings without the right to retain remuneration.
  3. An employee is entitled to 30 calendar days of paid holiday in the amount of 80% of remuneration for the purpose of preparing himself or herself to the attorney-at-law’s examination. It is possible to take advantage of this entitlement only once.
  4. An employee is entitled to time off work with the right to retain remuneration in order to participate in the entrance examination and the attorney-at-law’s examination.