The Supreme Court resolved the intertemporal problem related to the amendment of criminal procedure

On 29th November  2016 The Supreme Court seven judges (ref. I KZP 10/16) adopted a resolution having the power of a legal principle which resolves discrepancies occurring in the judgments of the Supreme Court and has significant consequences for the practice of courts of law, and above all, the powers of the parties to legal proceedings instituted before 1st July 2015 and remaining in progress after 14th April 2016.

Before 1st July 2015 provision of art. 100 § 3 k.p.k. obliged the court to serve the parties, only those judgments that were made at the meeting. Judgments rendered at the hearing were delivered at the request of the parties, and the deadline to challenge them to run from the date of judgment. As a result of the amendment of 27th September 2013 (which entered into force on 1st July 2015) art. 100 § 3 k.p.k. was changed and introduced the obligation of service of the judgment to all the parties that were not present at the announcement. The same principle concerned to challenge and closing proceedings regulations and provisions. From 15th April 2016 art. 100 § 3 k.p.k. states that the judgment shall be delivered to entities authorized to lodge an appeal only when required by law. Other judgments are therefore not ex officio served on the parties, and the deadline for their appeal runs from the date of the judgment, regardless of whether the party was present during the announcement.

The Supreme Court prejudged therefore, that in cases conducted after 14th April 2016 in which the indictment, the application for a criminal conviction, the application for conditional discontinuance of proceedings or a request for cancellation of pre-trial proceedings and the judgment detention order was sent to the court before 1st July 2015, are applicable provisions governing the course of the criminal proceedings introduced by the amending Act of 11th March 2016, so – in principle – the new rules. However, The Supreme Court strongly emphasized that the courts should provide parties with information on the new wording of Article 100 § 3 k.p.k., especially if the parties do not benefit from the assistance of a lawyer or attorney. Implementation of the obligation to provide adequate instruction should constitute a guarantee for the parties to protect their interests in a changing scope of their powers.