Abstract 23:117-137

Burdziej, Stanisław (2014) Effectiveness of informal social control Attempted measurement in court practice case studies. „Profilaktyka Społeczna i Resocjalizacja” 23: 117-137.



The paper presents the findings of the participant observation of more than 12,000 court hearings, focused on the respect of the fair trial rule. The analysis covered, among all, such aspects as the judge’s approach to the parties and the public, and the principle of open proceedings. The studies, repeated in two annual cycles, reveal a number of positive changes which may be more generally described as a more individual and respectful approach to citizens. It may be assumed that this change has evolved from an informal pressure exerted by observers present in the court room. The aim of the paper is to present these findings and to analyze the potential of informal social control for the improvement of the operation of the Polish judiciary.



social control, participation, the judiciary, procedural justice