Petty Offences in Poland Between Criminal Law and Administrative Law

Keywords: petty offences, relationship between petty offence, crime and administrative tort, evolution of Polish petty offence law


The legislator may have different views on the role and position of petty offence law in the contemporary legal order. They are often extreme. This ranges from treating petty offence law as a variety of criminal law, to simply accepting that it is nothing more than law of order. What is more, it often happens that adopting a specific concept requires quite different functions and goals of petty offence law. For these reasons, the fate of petty offence law varies. However, this does not affect the essence of the relationship between petty offence law and both criminal and administrative law, which is relatively large. With this in mind, the authors made efforts to synthetically yet comprehensively present the essential features of Polish petty offence law and its evolution from the 1920-30s to the present day. It is worth emphasising once again that the current shape of petty offence law is the result of long-term changes which resulted in a number of effects, not always desired. Moreover, as part of the conclusions, an attempt was made to formulate a prognosis for the development of this branch of law and the direction in which it will probably go.