European Court of Human Rights - case of Siałkowska v. Poland  (2007) (excerpts)

European Court of Human Rights - case of Siałkowska v. Poland  (2007) (excerpts)

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114. The Court is further of the view that when examining the circumstances of the present case it must have regard to the specific features of the Polish system of legal aid.  In this respect, the Court deems that the refusal of a legal aid lawyer should meet certain quality requirements. In this connection, the Court observes that the applicable domestic regulations did not specify the time-frame within which the applicant should be informed about the refusal to prepare a cassation appeal. When the applicant and the lawyer met, the time-limit for lodging of a cassation appeal was to expire in three days. The Court is of the view that in the circumstances of the present case, it would have been impossible for the applicant to find a new lawyer under the legal-aid scheme.


115. Consequently, the shortness of time left to the applicant to undertake any steps to have the cassation appeal in her case prepared did not give her a realistic opportunity of having her case brought to and argued before the cassation court.