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Cablegate: 2006 Hague Compliance Report Preparation -- Poland

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 05 SECSTATE 220951, B. 05 WARSAW 4022

1. (SBU) We welcome the opportunity to provide comments
related to Poland's compliance with The Hague Convention
provisions. Although we generally agree with the negative
portrayal of Poland's compliance efforts, we believe that
Poland has made some small progress in its handling of Hague
cases that should be recognized.

2. (SBU) As a result of recent presidential and legislative
elections, a new government came into office on October 31,
2005, and a new President will be inaugurated on December
23, 2005. The new government and its supporters are made up
of representatives of parties previously in opposition. As
we have only just begun to work with this government as they
formulate their policies, we advocate giving them an
opportunity to work towards a resolution of the problems
presented in reftel A before downgrading Poland to "not
fully compliant".

3. (SBU) We have expressed our concerns regarding Poland's
lack of compliance with the new government. On December 6,
2005, Ambassador Ashe met with the new Justice Minister,
Zbigniew Ziobro, and raised this issue. The Minister was
not familiar with the Convention, so we followed up by
providing a background memorandum to him laying out the
details of our concerns related to the Hague convention and
Poland's lack of demonstrated ability to comply with its
obligations. On January 30, 2006, Assistant Secretary Harty
will be chair a session of the US/Poland Joint Consular
Working Group, which will present another opportunity to
raise Hague Convention compliance with GOP officials.

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4. (SBU) Although we concur in part with the assessment in
reftel A, we do wish to highlight the fact that this
assessment is based upon evidence from very few cases. Post
is currently following three Hague cases (Szuta, Mikolajczak
and Sawicki) and it is difficult to make overall
generalizations based on the limited evidence from these

5. (SBU) Regarding the specific concerns raised in reftel,
we agree with the description of the Szuta case as an
egregious example of Poland's lack of compliance with the
Hague convention. We also concur with the description of
the difficulties experienced by left-behind parents in
enforcing return orders. We do feel, however, that we may
be seeing some signs of improvement in the way Hague cases
are being handled in Poland. In the Sawicki case (reftel B)
the court specifically rejected the taking parent's motion
for psychological studies despite her allegations of abuse
by the left-behind parent. The court also refused to hear
testimony related to the current condition of the child as
custody of the child was not at issue nor relevant to the
Hague hearing. Regarding the time it has taken to hear
cases and to reach a decision, the Sawicki court has been
moving at a much faster pace than the court in Szuta. After
a two-month delay caused by the unsuccessful motion of the
left-behind parent for a change of venue to Warsaw, the case
has moved forward relatively quickly. The final decision on
Sawicki is due December 21, meaning the time from the denial
of the change of venue motion to the issuance of the
decision in the Hague case will be exactly 3 months.


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