Ochrona praw konsumentów w świetle przepisów prawa karnego
Protection of Consumers' Rights in the Light of Regulations of Criminal Law
Normy prawa karnego, ze względu na swój charakter, nie odgrywają znaczącej roli w przypadku ochrony praw konsumentów mimo, że w pewnych przypadkach określone zachowania karają. Omówiono te uregulowania w prawie karnym, które służą ochronie konsumenta.
Protection of consumers' rights is not widely discussed in the Polish law-related literature and judicial pronouncement. Economic changes which took place in Poland after 1989 and integration processes with international organisations raised the interest in the problems of consumers' rights protection. The paper discusses these regulations of the criminal law which serve the protection of consumers' rights. Criminal law standards are of subsidiary character as regards the protection of consumers' right. The criminal code does not contain a definition of consumer neither does it contain a definition of consumer neither does it contain the chapter on crimes against consumers' interests. Acts which are listed in the criminal code and which can serve the protection of consumers' rights include fraud (art. 205 c.c.) and commercial offerences to the detriment of the buyer (art. 225, par. 1 c.c.). Regulations of petty crimes code also contain those concerning consumers' rights protection. They are listed in chapter XV art. 132-138. Due to their character criminal law norms do not play a decisive role in the protection of consumers' rights. However, the very fact that certain behaviours are threatened by punitive sanctions is of preventive character and discourages some offenders from committing a crime. This function of criminal law, however, is widely discussed among lawyers. Summarizing, it should be stated that the binding norms of criminal law do not support the protection of consumers' right in a direct and significant way. However, changes which will become binding as of September 1, 1998 are expected to improve the situation although now it is difficult to say how they will be applied in practice. (original abstract)