Judicial review is an important guarantor of compliance with the law within the activities of public administrations, and it has the greatest influence on the general principles of administrative procedure.

Judicial review of the legality of administrative decisions is a guarantee of the rule of law and, indirectly, procedural rights of the parties.

In the execution of the constitutional order, since 1 January 2004, a law introducing a two-instance administrative courts has come into effect. Pursuant to art. 184 of the Constitution, the Supreme Administrative Court and other administrative courts shall exercise control specified in the act of public administration. The scope of the tasks set for the administrative courts implies that in the administrative court proceedings, none of the instances is entitled to substantive examination. This means that the outcome of the case belongs to public administration, and the court's role is to monitor and evaluate this activity. Consequently, the tasks of the administrative courts rely on judicial review of the legality of the activities of public bodies.

Courts of first instance are regional administrative courts, which recognize all administrative cases with the exception of those for whom jurisdiction of the Supreme Administrative Court is appointed. Of competent jurisdiction is the court under whose jurisdiction a public authority, whose activities have been challenged, is established. If the court to which the action is brought is materially or locally incorrect, it is the duty of this court to issue an order confirming its decline and refer the case to the competent court (Article 13 law on proceedings before administrative courts).

Original jurisdiction of the Supreme Administrative Court includes, inter alia, consideration of cassation appeals and claims against sentences and orders of the provincial administrative courts, passing resolutions to clarify the legal rules which application resulted in discrepancies in the jurisdiction of administrative courts, and also passing resolutions containing the resolution of legal issues evoking serious doubts in a particular administrative court case. (article 15, law on proceedings before administrative courts).

The provision of article 3 § 2 and 3 of the law on proceedings before administrative courts contain a detailed list of cases that are material jurisdiction of those courts. According to the cited regulation, the activities of public administration include, inter alia; adjudication on complaints against administrative decisions and provisions which either end the matter or can be appealed, provisions settling the merits of the case and provisions issued in the mode of enforcement and security, against which an appeal, as well as written interpretations of tax law can be issued in the individual matters.

A party to the proceedings before the court may act by proxy, who, according to the article 35 of law on proceedings before administrative courts, may be a lawyer or an applicant or other participant in the proceedings, as well as parents, spouse, siblings or descendants of the party, persons remaining in adopting relationship with the party, and other persons, when provided for by specific provisions. However, proxy of the legal person or entrepreneur, including an unincorporated one, may also be an employee of the entity or its parent body. A proxy may also be a tax consultant or patent attorney, which stems from the provisions in the Act of 5 July 1996 on tax advice and the Act of 11 April 2001 on patent attorneys. Pursuant to art. 57 § 1 point 1 in conjunction with article 46 § 3 of law on proceedings before administrative courts, the application must be accompanied by power of attorney. Should a representative of the complainant fail the obligation to enclose the power of attorney, it would provide the basis to ask the representative to complete lack of formal action by enclosing the power of attorney, on pain of dismissal of the action.

In the court administrative case, the parties are the suitor and the authority, whose action, inaction or chronic conduct is the subject of the complaint procedure.

Following bodies are entitled to present a claim: any person who has a legal interest, the prosecutor, the Ombudsman, the Ombudsman for Children and any social organization in terms of its statutory activity, in matters relating to the legal interests of other persons, unless it participated in administrative proceedings; as well as any another body to which the acts grant the right to complain (art. 50 of law on proceedings before administrative courts.).   

The condition on which a complaint can be brought to the administrative court is the exhaustion of remedies by the complainant, provided that they were available to them in administrative proceedings. These measures are: a complaint (including a complaint about unsettling the matter within the claim against authority inaction), an appeal, a request for a retrial, and a reminder for unsettling the matter in due time. Unless the act provides for remedies on the subject of complaints against the acts and activities referred to in article 3 § 2, paragraphs 4 and 4a, one may petition the court, after prior notice in writing to the competent authority - within fourteen days from the date on which the claimant knew or could have become aware of the issue of an act or any other action to be taken - to remove the offending law. The complaint must be filed within thirty days from the date of servicing the notification to the applicant. In the cases referred to in article 52 § 3 and 4, the complaint must be filed within thirty days from the receipt of replies to the call of the body to remove the offending law, and if the authority did not answer the summons, within sixty days from the date of filing request for removal of infringements (article 53 of law on proceedings before administrative courts). A complaint to the Administrative Court must be filed through the authority, whose action, inaction or chronic conduct is the subject of the complaint procedure. This authority shall forward the complaint to the court along with the file and the reply to the complaint within thirty days from the date of its filing. The authority, whose action, inaction or protracted proceedings is a matter of complaint, can, within its jurisdiction, allow the complaint in its entirety to the day of commencement of the hearing (article 54 of law on proceedings before administrative courts).

The court's decision becomes valid, if it is not entitled to the appeal. After the decision of the court of first instance becomes legally valid, the administrative records of the case are sent back to the public administration body, enclosing a copy of the decision with the statement of its legitimacy. The deadline to settle the case by the authority, specified by law or designated by the court, is counted from the date of servicing files to the authority. In the case where the court repeals the contested decision, and the authority considering the matter again closes the proceedings or states invalidity of the act, or establishes a legal obstacle preventing the annulment of the act, the party who suffered the damage is compensated by the authority which issued the decision.

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We base our activity on administrative court rulings. The Central Database of Administrative Court Rulings is published on the NSA (Supreme Administrative Court of Poland) webpage NSA.