New provisions of the Polish Code of Civil Procedure and return of the child under the Hague Convention

Current legislation

The Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, signed at The Hague on 25 October 1980, known as the Hague Convention of 1980, is an international agreement of which Poland is a party. It was concluded in order to ensure the immediate return of children wrongfully abducted or detained in one of the States, which are parties to that agreement and to ensure the respect for custody and visitation rights specified by the legislation of those States. Pursuant to Article 5691 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the local jurisdiction for applications under the Hague Convention of 1980 is the regional court in the locality of the court of appeal with jurisdiction over the place of residence or stay of the child. The time limit for the court to give its decision is 6 weeks from the date of the application. Abduction of a child according to the Convention must be unlawful in order for an application to be brought successfully to the central authority of the State in which the child is present. This authority, according to the Convention, is competent to hear the application.


Requirements of the Power of Attorney under the Polish Code of Civil Procedure

A power of attorney enables participants in proceedings to authorise other persons, in particular persons with a professional background, to represent them before the court, which undoubtedly speeds up and streamlines the entire proceedings. In Poland, it is regulated by the Code of Civil Procedure.

According to art. 89, a document of the power of attorney, with the principal’s signature or a certified copy thereof, shall be attached to the case files at the first procedural action (first pleading). However, after the commencement of the proceedings, it may also be granted orally at a court session by making a statement and enclosing it to the transcript of the hearing. There is no provision in the Code of Civil Procedure governing the content of the power of attorney document. However, it is assumed, that the document should specify the person of the proxy and the principal, as well as its subject matter – whether it is a general, or to conduct particular cases or to perform certain procedural actions. Particularly controversial is the fact that the Polish Code does not impose an obligation to indicate the place or date of preparation of the power of attorney document. In practice, however, it is assumed, that the date of issuance of the document should be indicated.