Top searches

PL

Resources

A fine and an administrative penalty at the same time: does this constitute a double punishment for the same thing?

26/08/2020

One of the principles of criminal law is that for one crime, an offender can only be sentenced once, for example, to a fine. However, in practice, it is often the case that in addition to a fine, a convicted person is also subject to another type of financial penalty. What is the reason for this?

An example of this can be the imposition of both a criminal fine and an administrative penalty under the Fiscal Penal Code and other legislation. For explanatory purposes, we refer to the Gambling Act. The Supreme Administrative Court indicated that there are no obstacles for the legislator to simultaneously establish a financial administrative penalty and a criminal fine in criminal and fiscal proceedings based on the same facts for the act of arranging a game without a license on slot machines outside a casino. Such a decision was possible because conducting gambling without a permit or license, or violating this permit or license, is prohibited under both the Fiscal Penal Code and the Gambling Act.

Interestingly, this decision was made regarding a person who did not own the gaming equipment or install it on his premises, but only rented out the part of the premises where the gaming machine was placed. The Supreme Administrative Court decided that the owner of the premises was actively involved in conducting the prohibited activity noting that if it were not for the lessor, it would not have been possible to conduct such activity in this place.

As the jurisprudence indicates, the “double” punishment of the same person for the same act, as in the above example, only seemingly violates the prohibition of double criminality. This is due to the different functions of criminal and administrative responsibility. It is emphasized that the purpose of an administrative penalty is principally to recover undue benefits, while the purpose of penalties imposed on the basis of the Fiscal Penal Code is primarily to pay for breaking the law. According to the Constitutional Court, the concurrent punishment of a fine and an administrative penalty has been found to be consistent with the Constitution.

However, it should be remembered that any imposition of penalties on an entity must meet the requirements of proportionality. The determination of whether a penalty is proportionate depends on the individual circumstances of a case. In cases conducted on the basis of the Fiscal Penal Code and the Gambling Act, the complexity is exacerbated by the need to also apply the provisions of EU law. This is, however, the subject for another article.

View more resources

Catch up on the very latest B2RLAW
announcements and news here.

18/09/2020

B2RLaw announces promotions

In its 2020 review of lawyer positions, and since the announcement of its merger to form B2RLaw in June 2020, […]

MORE
07/09/2020

B2RLaw advises Warsaw (WSE) listed video games company CI Games on its large share issue

B2RLaw has advised CI Games S.A. on its issue of 21 million shares for a value PLN 1.2 per share […]

MORE
04/09/2020

Promotion in B2R’s Contentious Practice Group

Edyta Zalewska, a member of B2RLaw’s Contentious Practice Group, has been promoted to Counsel. Edyta advises and represents clients in […]

MORE
02/09/2020

B2RLaw builds out Finance Practice with the hire of Filip Badziak

B2RLaw has hired Filip Badziak as a Counsel to its Finance Practice. Filip is a specialist in transactional banking, finance […]

MORE
26/08/2020

A fine and an administrative penalty at the same time: does this constitute a double punishment for the same thing?

One of the principles of criminal law is that for one crime, an offender can only be sentenced once, for […]

MORE
21/08/2020

B2RLaw advises on international multimillion dollar investment company merger

In a deal announced August 10th, B2RLaw is advising Barings BDC, Inc. in its merger with MVC Capital, Inc. The […]

MORE

Get in touch

Not sure who to contact? Let us help you find the right lawyer.

This site uses cookies to improve your experience More information.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close