Labour courts without hearings online | PRO HR Coronavirus


Regulations to enable courts to operate in a pandemic have been in force since May 16, 2020.

During the epidemiological threat or the epidemic state announced on account of COVID-19 and for a year after the latter of the two is called off, hearings should be held online. In practice, however, e-hearings in labour courts have not been organized yet.

The courts have been using different approach - they require witnesses to testify in writing or conduct hearings in the new sanitary regime (the need to wear masks, decontaminate and ventilate courtrooms, etc.).

Doubts in particular are given to "interviewing" witnesses in writing. This is a fairly new concept, so it is not known how it will function in practice. In particular, it is unclear whether, at the request of a party, the court will hear a witness who previously gave evidence in writing at the trial. This is particularly important in the context of assessing the credibility of a witness, especially in labour courts, where evidence proceedings are usually based on testimonies.

Meanwhile, the courts have a platform for conducting video conferences. Another issue is establishing the rules for conducting court proceedings on-line. Problems may arise, ranging from verification of the identity of participants at a distance, to ensuring the transparency of hearings and security of transmitted data.

More in the article „Without e-hearings in labour courts” by Piotr Lewandowski and Anna Boguska for Rzeczpospolita.