Sunday, September 13, 2015

Repressive measures in Poland

The Polish daily Rzeczpospolita informed in a Jan. 18, 2002 article about the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court (Naczelny Sąd Administracyjny) concerning the university rector's refusal of examinee's access to the written examination record conducted at the Warsaw University (Uniwersytet Warszawski). The case concerned university entrance exams that occurred probably some time in late June or early July 2001. The person who was refused admission to the university requested access to the written record of the exam. The rector refused.

The matter went all the way to the Supreme Administrative Court where the rector failed to provide any justification whatsoever for his decision. The court ordered the rector to consider examinee's application once again. It was not the order to simply grant access to the exam record. The ruling said only that the application should be reconsidered.

This case is representative of a great number of everyday situations where information is either hidden or access to information is flatly denied by representatives of an institution. This is one of the simplest ways to violate basic rights which is common in Poland. It is a repressive measure applied arbitrarily. Repetitive denial of rights to select persons is a deliberate policy. It is probably presented to the outside world as an unfortunate exception. However, a closer inspection reveals often an obvious pattern of abuse of human and constitutional rights.

There is a huge difference between the concept of the state in the democratic countries of the West and the concept of the state in the "newly-democratic" countries of Eastern Europe. This is certainly a deep and severe problem in Poland.