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Report RP 7 December 2009

Report from meeting of Programme Council of the Rule of Law Institute, which took place on 7 December 2009,
on the occasion of 8 anniversary of establishment of Foundation, in the Supreme Court seat [1]

In the meeting, following persons participated: Judge of the Supreme Court in retirement Maria Teresa Romer, Partner in the White&Case Witold Daniłowicz , Dean of the County Advocacy Council in Lublin Piotr Sendecki , President of the Euro Net Robert Kuczyński. In the meeting couldn’t participated: Judge of the Supreme Court Katarzyna Gonera, Dean of the Law Faculty of KUL ks. Prof. Antoni Dębiński and Mec. Charles Szymański. All of them justified their absence. Moreover following persons participated: Prof. Delaine Swenson, Marek Siudowski, Arkadiusz Siechowicz as members of the Foundation management, Dr Tomasz Sieniow (President of the Board), Paweł Wojtasik (Vice-President of the Board) and Daniel Cetlicer (member of the Foundation management).

Meeting was directed by Tomasz Sieniow, who in the beginning welcomed and introduced participants. Next Delaine Swenson presented the actual situation of Foundation. The presentation consisted of short history, list of realized projects, financial situation and aims of the Foundation. Also the graphical project of the new Foundation´s website was presented. The new website will be launched in the middle of December. Next, the discussion concerning short and long term strategy of the Foundation started.

As the first of the members of the Programme Council, dean Sendecki started his presentation. He proposed to organize the meeting with young lawyers, where the Foundation could present her aims and started cooperation with some of the lawyers. Such cooperation could bring benefits to both sides (The Foundation would gain professional help, young lawyers would gain experience in pro-bono law service). Moreover, dean Sendecki has a possibility to organize a meeting with members of the Human Rights Commission, which would allow the Foundation to establish contact with people who are influencing law in Poland, in particular influencing those laws, who concerns beneficiaries of the Foundation (poor and disadvantaged people and refugees)

Next, mecenas Daniłowicz spoke up. He shared his positive impression, which the presentation about the Foundation, made on him. He was not aware that Foundation takes interest in such wide spectrum of matters and helps in their projects to such an amount of people in need. He also noted that since Foundation has such a big and experienced team, it is not always the best thing to shatter focus on a wide range of different projects and activities, but better solution is to focus on one area, in which the Foundation´s team would be specialize.

Also president Kuczyński presented his opinions. He offered his help in the areas of management, marketing and advertisement in which areas he has a wide experience. He also suggested asking a question: What is the aim of the Foundation? Without answering such a question, it is impossible to build a strategy vision.

Judge Romer suggested that more focus should be given to conducting education and training among the young people and even children in elementary schools. The big problem of our society is low law awareness. If we want to build the rule of law state, the best thing is to start from the youngest generation. Of course we have to take care about the quality of trainers and trainings. Dean Sendecki also contributed to this topic by suggesting that Foundation should focus on extrajudicial law counseling and leave the immediate free legal counseling for poor people in the hands of advocates and law counselors.

Professor Swenson opened the issue of regionalization of up-to-date activity of Foundation. He asked what is needed to be done, to expand activity of Foundation to Warsaw. Mecenas Daniłowicz told that the good product of the Foundation is the training programme of the Foundation and wiht it, Foundation can succeed on the Warsaw market. Moreover, mecenas suggested that Foundation should sign itself on the list of subjects, to which Ministry is obliged ask about opinions concerning new laws. Thanks to this, Foundation would gain opportunity to emerge into the community of experts, who create law in Poland.

In the end of meeting, Tomasz Sieniow thanked to everybody for their attendance.

[1] Meeting of the Programme Council was preceded by short meeting of the Foundation Council, who in the connection with changes in the Statute appointed new Board for years 2010 – 2012. Tomasz Sieniow was chosen as the president of the board. Moreover appointed to the Board was: Pawel Wojasik, Marzena Rzeszót and Daniel Cetlicer. New Board chose Pawel Wojtasik as the vice-president of the Board.


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