Projected changes in the scope of holding hearings and sessions in civil cases
On January 15, 2021, Sejm received a bill amending the Act – Code of Civil Procedure and certain other acts.
According to the proposed art. 9 of the amendment, during the period of the state of epidemic threat or state of epidemic announced due to COVID-19 and within one year from the appeal of the last of them, in cases considered under the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure:
- a hearing or a public session is conducted with the use of technical devices that enable them to be held at a distance with the simultaneous direct transmission of image and sound, except that the persons participating in them do not have to be in the court building;
- the chairman may order a closed session when it is not possible to conduct a hearing or a session in public at a distance with the simultaneous direct transmission of video and sound;
- in the first and second instance, the court hears cases composed of one judge; the president of the court may order that the case be examined by a panel of three judges, if he deems it advisable due to the particular complexity or precedent nature of the case.
The holding of a hearing or a public session in the manner provided for in point 1 above may be waived only if examination of the case at the hearing or open session is necessary and the holding of the hearing in the court building does not cause excessive health risk to the persons participating in it.
The draft amendment was sent to the first reading in Sejm.