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Rules of the Disciplinary Ombudsman

Rules of the Disciplinary Ombudsman of the Polish Society for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (PSPP)

(consolidated text: after the amendment of 17 April 2016)

Article 1

The rules define the detailed principles and procedures of proceedings held before the Disciplinary Ombudsman of the Polish Society for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (hereinafter referred to as the “Ombudsman”).

Chapter I
General provisions

Article 2

  1. The rules (“Rules”) define the detailed principles and procedures of proceedings held before the Disciplinary Ombudsman (hereinafter referred to as the “Ombudsman”) of the Polish Society for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (hereinafter referred to as the “Society”).
  2. To be effective, any changes to the Rules need to be passed by a binding resolution of the General Assembly of the Society.

Article 3

  1. The Ombudsman acts independently in accordance with the Articles of Association of the Polish Society for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (hereinafter referred to as the “Articles of Association”).
  2. The parties have the right to defence in the proceedings held before the Ombudsman.

Article 4

  1. In accordance with Article 35 of the Articles of Association, the Disciplinary Ombudsman:
    1. reviews cases related to violations of the law, the code of ethics, the provisions of the Articles of Association, or dignity, reported by the bodies or individual members of the Society,
    2. presents annual reports on their activities to the General Assembly.
  2. The scope of activity of the Ombudsman may be expanded or diminished only by a resolution passed by the General Assembly.

Article 5

  1. The Ombudsman performs their tasks independently and with the assistance of the deputies (hereinafter referred to as: the “Deputies” or, individually, as a “Deputy”).
  2. In accordance with Article 35.1 of the Articles of Association, two Deputies shall be appointed.
  3. The Ombudsman and the Deputies are obliged to perform their duties with due diligence and care, adhering to the provisions of the Rules and the Articles of Association, the principles of social coexistence, respect for truth, and the interests and goals of the Society.
  4. The Ombudsman and the Deputies shall maintain confidentiality of all information acquired in the process of performing their tasks.

Article 6

The Ombudsman and the Deputies are entitled to use a round seal with the inscription: Polish Society for Psychodynamic Psychotherapy – Disciplinary Ombudsman and a header stamp with the same inscription and the address. The seal is not necessary for documents drafted by the Ombudsman and the Deputies to take effect.

Article 7

Expenses related to the activities of the Ombudsman shall be covered from the dedicated resources of the budget of the Society.

Article 8

The titles of individual chapters and subchapters of the Rules have been used exclusively to organise its contents and do not have a binding effect.

Chapter II
Organisation and principles of the activities of the Ombudsman

Article 9

The Ombudsman:

  1. oversees the work of Deputies,
  2. divides tasks between himself and the Deputies,
  3. delegates some of his competences to a Deputy indicated by name through a decision,
  4. issues guidelines and instructions to the Deputies,
  5. convenes and presides over joint meetings with the Deputies,
  6. approves actions performed by the Deputies,
  7. ensures the correct communication between the Ombudsman, the Deputies, and other bodies of the Society,
  8. represents the Ombudsman and the Deputies before other bodies of the Society,
  9. issues decisions to restore statutory deadlines,
  10. reviews cases related to violations of the law, the code of ethics, the provisions of the Articles of Association, or dignity, reported by the bodies or individual members of the Society,
  11. ensures the appropriate management of assets entrusted to the Ombudsman for the purposes of his work or placed at their disposal,
  12. performing other duties following from these Rules or the Articles of Association,
  13. performs other duties resulting from the Articles of Association or the Rules.

Article 10

  1. The tasks of the Deputies include actions specified in the Rules or the Articles of Association, performed in compliance with the principles set down therein, as well as tasks delegated to the Deputies directly by a decision of the Ombudsman, in which the Deputy authorised to perform a given task is indicated by name.
  2. The decision mentioned in the section above shall be made in writing. A copy of the decision shall be sent to the Executive Board of the Society. The decision shall specify, in particular, the scope of delegated duties, the period for which they are delegated, the name of the Deputy, the drafting date, and the principles related to the performance of the tasks in question.
  3. The deputies shall substitute for the Ombudsman in situations specified in the Rules, such as when he cannot perform his duties due to sickness, hospitalisation, or travelling outside the Republic of Poland.
  4. Among the Deputies, the Ombudsman selects the first Deputy (“First Deputy”) and the second Deputy (“Second Deputy”). This distinction only applies in situations outlined in Article 12.

Article 11

  1. Actions performed by the Deputies without the Ombudsman’s approval are invalid.
  2. The Ombudsman’s approval can be expressed before or after an action has been performed, but not later than within a month of its performance. In the event that the approval or denial cannot be granted for objective reasons, the period is counted from the first moment in which it becomes possible.

Article 12

  1. If the Ombudsman is unavailable for more than two months, the First Deputy takes over his duties until his return. The First Deputy’s actions do not need approval.
  2. If the First Deputy is unavailable at the same time as the Ombudsman, the duties are taken over by the Second Deputy. The Second Deputy’s actions also do not require approval.
  3. The Ombudsman is obliged to confirm his return to full availability and readiness to take up his official tasks in a written statement delivered to both Deputies.
  4. The Ombudsman returns to his duties within 7 days of the moment of delivery of the above-mentioned notification to the Deputies. The term “delivery” is understood here in the sense specified by the Polish Code of Civil Procedure.

Article 13

  1. The Ombudsman and the Deputies shall meet at least once a year.
  2. Meetings are called by the Ombudsman according to reasonable need at least 7 days before their scheduled date.
  3. Presence at the meetings is obligatory. Absences need to be justified.
  4. One of the Deputies drafts minutes from the meeting.

Article 14

  1. The Ombudsman presents a draft of the annual activity report and annual financial report to the Deputies during a meeting.
  2. The draft, and later the financial report, form an appendix to the draft and the report on the activities of the Ombudsman.
  3. Drafts of reports require the approval of the Deputies. For the approval to be effective, each draft needs to be signed by both Deputies and the Ombudsman.

Article 15

  1. If the First Deputy is unavailable at the same time as the Ombudsman, the duties are taken over by the Second Deputy. The Second Deputy’s actions also do not require approval.
  2. The Ombudsman is obliged to confirm his return to full availability and readiness to take up his official tasks in a written statement delivered to both Deputies.
  3. The Ombudsman returns to his duties within 7 days of the moment of delivery of the above-mentioned notification to the Deputies. The term “delivery” is understood here in the sense specified by the Polish Code of Civil Procedure.

Chapter III
Proceedings before the Ombudsman

Article 16

  1. The Ombudsman and the Deputies act ex officio or upon a motion.
  2. The Ombudsman launches the proceedings in cases related to violations of the law, the code of ethics, the Articles of Association or dignity, reported by the bodies of individual members of the Society, only upon a written motion of the General Assembly, Executive Board, or a member of the Society (“Petitioner”).
  3. The motion mentioned in the previous section should include:
    1. the first and last name of the petitioner with contact details,
    2. the signature of the petitioner,
    3. presentation of the case with a demand and its justification,
    4. presentation of proofs and evidence in the case,
    5. copies or duplicates of relevant documents, and, when these cannot be attached, a description of where and when they have been drafted and where they are currently held.
  4. If any of the listed elements is missing, this does not cause the motion to be invalid and denied, but the petition is returned to the sender with the missing documents indicated. The petitioner may supplement it and submit it to the Ombudsman again within 7 days from the return of the motion. If the motion continues to be incomplete, it is dismissed.
  5. The Ombudsman is bound by the motion only in terms of the demand concerning the need to deliver a judgement. The Ombudsman has a discretionary power to impose punishments specified in the Rules according to his own discretion.

Article 17

The Ombudsman shall inform the Executive Board and the Deputies in writing every time proceedings are initiated, suspended, remitted, or terminated. In the latter case, he shall send a duplicate of his judgement to the Deputies and the Executive Board.

Article 18

  1. Participants in the proceedings include the Petitioner and individuals indicated in the motion initiating the proceedings (“Participants” or a “Participant”).
  2. Any interested party may participate in the proceedings. In order to accede to the proceedings, a written petition must be filed to the Ombudsman. If the petition is not obviously unwarranted, the Ombudsman shall admit the interested party into the proceedings with the rights of a participant.
  3. Participants are obliged to submit true explanations upon demand of the Ombudsman and not to conceal any facts essential for the case.

Article 19

  1. Participants can select a defender from among the members of the Society, dependent on their agreement. The defender cannot be the Ombudsman or any of the Deputies.
  2. Every participant in the proceedings may appear before the Ombudsman via their representatives or proxies.

Article 20

Any official deliveries should be made in writing to the postal address of the participant. Communication between the Court and participants of the proceedings may also take place over the telephone or an ICT system.

Article 21

  1. In principle, the proceedings held before the Ombudsman are conducted in writing. Participants present their testimonies in writing.
  2. The Ombudsman ensures that the proceedings are fair and efficient and as inexpensive as possible.
  3. The proceedings are public for all members of the Society. Any member of the Society is entitled to access case files. Participants in the proceedings additionally enjoy the right to obtain free copies and duplicates of the records.
  4. The Ombudsman may call a trial.
  5. The proceedings are based in the city of Kraków. Hearings are also held in the city of Kraków.
  6. The costs related to the participation of all Participants in the proceedings are covered by the Participants.

Article 22

In the event of a hearing, the Ombudsman shall notify all participants of its date and venue. In the notification, he shall provide all information necessary for it to be held in an efficient and fair manner.

Article 23

  1. The Ombudsman:
    1. opens, presides over, and closes hearings,
    2. gives the right to speak,
    3. asks questions and authorises the asking of questions,
    4. announces judgments.
  2. The Ombudsman can refuse the right to speak if a party abuses it and dismiss a question if it is judged inappropriate or redundant. The Ombudsman uses this right in accordance with Article 2.2 of the Rules.
  3. The Ombudsman may decide to hold a hearing of evidence such as those set down by the Polish Code of Civil Procedure, with the reservation that the legal regulations may only serve as a guideline. The Ombudsman is in charge of defining the specifics of performed actions, their time, and venue, etc.
  4. Participants in the proceedings are obliged to be present during the hearing at the designated time and place.
  5. Absence of the participant requires justification.
  6. Unjustified absences do not delay the proceedings and the judgement.
  7. The Ombudsman holds the hearings of participants, witnesses, and experts, but may not take their oaths or employ any coercive measures against them.
  8. The Ombudsman drafts and signs minutes from each hearing. Actions performed outside the hearing are mentioned in the minutes. When no hearing is held, instead of the minutes, the Ombudsman drafts a memo detailing the proceedings after their termination.

Article 24

  1. Upon the termination of proceedings, based on the testimonies of participants and collected evidence, in accordance with the provisions of the Articles of Association and the Rules, the Ombudsman delivers a judgement.
  2. If a hearing is held, the Ombudsman announces his judgement upon its completion. The Ombudsman may also decide to pronounce the judgement within 7 days from the end of the hearing, in accordance with the article below.
  3. The judgement shall be officially announced; Participants shall receive a copy of the judgement.
  4. The judgement may:
    1. dismiss the motion in whole or in part,
    2. uphold the motion in whole or in part.
  5. In accordance with Article 35.3 of the Articles of Association, the Ombudsman may impose the following sanctions:
    1. admonition,
    2. reprimand,
    3. a motion with the Executive Board to suspend a member for a period of 1 to 12 months,
    4. a motion with the Executive Board to expel a member from the Society,
    5. a motion with the Executive Board to cancel (take back) the certificate of psychodynamic psychotherapist,
    6. a motion to the Executive Board to cancel (take back) the certificate of psychodynamic supervisor.
  6. Sanctions may be used cumulatively.

Article 25

  1. The Ombudsman signs his judgement. When unsigned, the judgement is invalid.
  2. The Ombudsman delivers the judgement immediately after all matters essential to the case have been explained, but no later than within a month from the moment the initial motion has been filed. In the event that the judgement cannot be delivered within this time, the Ombudsman may suspend the proceedings in accordance with the provisions below.

Article 26

  1. The Ombudsman may suspend the proceedings:
    a. if their resolution depends on the result of other proceedings, such as those held before common courts, if the proceedings may have an important impact on the case,
    b. if due to the lack or an incorrect address of a participant the proceedings cannot be initiated,
    c. upon a joint request of all participants of the proceedings, even if there is only one participant.
  2. The Ombudsman suspends the proceedings in the form of a decision.

Article 27

The proceedings are remitted if:

  1. the petition to restart the proceedings suspended upon request of a participant is not submitted within a year from the decision to suspend the proceedings,
  2. the judgement becomes redundant, in particular where a settlement is achieved between the parties,
  3. the motion is withdrawn,
  4. the participant dies or a relevant organisational unit is dissolved before the judgement.

Article 28

  1. Upon request of a Participant, the Ombudsman may correct, supplement, or interpret the judgement.
  2. Ex officio or upon a motion by a Participant, the Ombudsman may pass a decision to correct inaccuracies, writing or computing errors, and other obvious mistakes in the judgement.
  3. Within two weeks from the delivery of the judgement, Participants may request its supplementation if the Ombudsman does not address the entire claim. Supplementation takes the form of a judgement.
  4. The Ombudsman explains the doubts as to the contents of the judgement by issuing a decision.

Article 29

The bodies and members of the Society are obliged to cooperate with the Ombudsman in the performance of his tasks.