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Works on amendments to the act on the liability of collective entities

Works on amendments to the act on the liability of collective entities (“the Act”), which may result in, among others, more stringent liability of collective entities for prohibited acts, are in progress.

The most important directions of changes:

  1. introducing a new definition of “collective entity”;
  2. enabling the conduct of proceedings against such entity, regardless of the lawsuit against a natural person acting on its behalf, and even in the event of the perpetrator’s death;
  3. replacing the catalog of prohibited acts provided for in the current art. 16 of the Act, the principle of liability for each crime and fiscal offense;
  4. elimination of the condition of a prior conviction of a natural person as a condition of liability of a collective entity;
  5. replacing the requirement of a prior conviction of a natural person with two complementary substantive grounds of liability:
    1. liability for own acts of a collective entity directly related to the activity conducted by that entity, if the commission of the prohibited act results from an action or omission of the entity’s body,
    2. responsibility for acts committed by members of the authorities, persons authorized to act or employees performing tasks for this entity within the scope of their competences,
    3. to assume liability of a collective entity for a prohibited act, it is not required to identify a specific natural person as the perpetrator of the crime;
  6. bearing by a collective entity responsibility for persons who are (provided that the collective entity obtains an advantage, even if it is non-pecuniary, or the possibility of obtaining it):
    1. members of the bodies of a collective entity, if their actions do not constitute the actions of the body itself,
    2. people acting, among others on the basis of a power of attorney or proxy and persons who are employees of a collective entity;
  7. the condition of liability of a collective entity is to exhaust the features of a prohibited act as a result of:
    1. at least the lack of due diligence in the selection of the person referred to in item 6) or in the supervision of the person by a collective entity;
    2. irregularities in the organization of the activity of a collective entity that facilitated or made it possible to commit the prohibited act, although another organization of activities could have prevented the commission of the offense;
  8. specification of the conditions for exempting a collective entity from liability;
  9. increasing the amount of fines to be ruled by the court from PLN 10,000 to 30,000,000. For the sake of comparison, the current wording of the Act provides for the possibility of imposing fines in the amount of PLN 1,000 to PLN 5,000,000, whereby the imposed penalty may not exceed 3% of the revenue generated in the financial year in which the prohibited act was committed;
  10. introducing the possibility of pursuing collective civil claims from entities as part of a criminal proceedings (the so-called adhesive claim).
Monika Chojnacka
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