The Institute of Justice in Warsaw is a state organizational unit subordinate to the Minister of Justice, conducting scientific and research activities in the field of creation, application, axiology and social functioning of law, as well as the phenomena of crime and social pathology. The Institute was established in 1990 from the merger of two previously operating separately research units – the Institute for the Study of Judicial Law at the Ministry of Justice and the Institute of Crime Problems at the Prosecutor General’s Office.
After organizational changes in 2009, pursuant to the order of the Minister of Justice of March 10, 2009 on the establishment of the Institute of Justice (Journal of Laws of the Ministry of Justice of March 27, 2009), the Institute obtained the status of a state organizational unit conducting scientific and research activity.
The activities of the Institute are currently regulated – on the basis of appropriate application – by selected provisions of the Act on Research Institutes (cf. Article 66 of the Act of 30 April 2010 on Research Institutes (Journal of Laws No. 96, item 618, as amended) and the Statute issued by the Minister of Justice by order of September 9, 2016.
Pursuant to § 3 of the Institute of Justice Statute, the subject of the Institute’s activity is research on the creation, application, axiology and social functioning of law, as well as the phenomena of crime and social pathology, as well as the dissemination of the results of these studies and legal education. In particular, the subject of the Institute’s activity is the study of: the functioning of legal institutions and of the judiciary in the practice; the effectiveness of the functioning of legal protection authorities; axiology of law and ethics of legal professions; the role of judicial decisions and the reasons for their implementation; the system, organization and functioning of the judicial authorities, also in the context of the social environment; causes and conditions of violations of the law; sizes, structures and dynamics of crime and other pathological phenomena and behaviors; issues of the execution of punishment and the social rehabilitation of criminals; institutions of Polish law in their historical development, including interdisciplinary research and comparative research, including the compliance of Polish law with the norms and standards of international and European law. As part of disseminating research results, the Institute may organize national and international conferences, seminars, and conduct publishing and documenting activities.
The Institute conducts research as part of annual or long-term scientific and research plans, taking into account the topics proposed by the Minister of Justice. It also implements – in accordance with § 5 sec. 2 of the Statute – ad-hoc, urgent orders of the Minister of Justice.
Performing its tasks, the Institute of Justice conducts – which distinguishes it from other national scientific institutions – extensive scientific research of court and prosecutor files (approx. 10,000 files per year) and prepares comparative legal, statistical and economic analyzes as well as surveys. In five sections of the Institute (Section of Criminal Law and Process, Section of Civil Law and Process, Section of Family Law, Section of Economic Analyzes of the Justice System and Section of Fundamental Rights) over 400 studies (and over 70 books). have been published
As part of its activities, the Institute cooperates with courts and other judicial authorities as well as the National School of Judiciary and Public Prosecution. He also takes part in international cooperation, participating in international research programs carried out, among others by the European Commission, EUROSTAT and the Council of Europe.
The results of research conducted at the Institute of Justice are presented at regular conferences and numerous seminars. These results are also published in book form in three series: “green” (containing monographs on broadly understood civil law), “red” (relating to substantive and procedural criminal law) and – published in the pre-accession period – “blue” (dedicated to adapting Polish law to European legal standards).
The Institute also publishes the “Law in Action” quarterly, which mainly includes reports on the research of judicial practice, both in the field of civil and criminal law.