Modern trends in criminalisation and Polish criminal law

Project funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, carried out between 14 April 2010 and 14 April 2013.

General Information

The objective of the project was to carry out an analysis of changes taking place in criminal law worldwide under the influence of globalisation processes and to discuss contemporary legislative policy in the area of criminalisation in criminal law in this context. The main subject of research was the influence of globalisation processes on criminal law at the supranational level, as well as the analysis of the internationalisation process of Polish criminal law, which occurs at many levels, especially changes that have taken place with regard to criminalised acts.

The research has shown that globalisation processes, traditionally referred to economic and social processes, also influence the legal system. The international community is becoming more and more aware that there is a certain group of goods whose protection should be of global interest, and that certain negative phenomena can only be combated on a transnational scale.

Both the analysis of criminalisation in Polish criminal law in a historical perspective and the research on contemporary trends in the development of the criminal law system have shown that a global normative system is evolving in the wake of the activities of international organisations, as well as other entities, i.e. the state and private organisations which are still fragmentary today, but which encompass new areas of regulation. New institutions of law are also being created. Supranational penal regulations are changing rapidly.

Regulations adopted internationally within criminal law mainly deal with the criminalisation of specific types of behaviour. The scope of criminalisation in supranational law provisions covers a very broad spectrum of acts, which can be collectively called international crimes. On the one hand, these are international crimes, i.e. acts of the highest gravity, on the other hand, there are numerous transnational and European crimes, including acts that violate human rights and security of citizens, as well as economic and other values.

The project focused on contemporary trends in criminalisation in international, foreign and Polish law, as well as the instruments of international law adopted by regional (Council of Europe, European Union), supra-regional (OECD) and global (UN) international organisations from the point of view of identifying acts whose criminalisation was recommended to the state parties in supranational norms. The study has shown that practically all contemporary trends in the field of criminalisation which have emerged in supranational law have been reflected in the Polish criminal law. The problem is the degree of harmonisation of Polish regulations with foreign regulations, i.e. the quality of implementation provisions, also in the context of their consistency with other provisions of national criminal law. The research has led to the conclusion that one of the biggest current challenges for the study of penal law in Poland is the analysis of the existing scope of criminalisation in the perspective of its amendment with a view to achieving a greater degree of internal consistency of the Polish system of penal law and a greater degree of adaptation to supranational regulations.

Through the identification of new research problems of key importance for socio-economic development and undertaking pioneer research works on the globalisation of penal law, the implementation of the project had a significant impact on increasing the quality of frontier research in the area of the Polish penal law system.