Article 47 - Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
Key facts of the case:
C.K. submitted a motion for her legal aid in her proceedings before the Local Government Collegium of Appeals. Legal aid in the light of the Law on the procedure before administrative courts embraces, among others, an exemption from costs of the procedure and assiatnce of an attorney-at-law. In the procedure before the Local Government Collegium of Appeals, her motion was denied. The Voivodship Administrative Court upheld this decision, stating that C.K.’s financial situation does not entitle her to access legal aid. C.K. submitted a cassation appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court stating that the necessity to cover the costs of procedure in fact means limitation of the right of access to justice. C.K. underlined that it violates Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Outcome of the case:
The motion was also dismissed by the Supreme Administrative Court.
The judgement of the Court of the first instance does not violate Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. This provision postulates guaranteeing access to justice to persons who do not have enough sources. Legal aid is an implementation of this postulate. However, this provision does not set a universal and unconditional obligation of the free of charge access to the justice system.