The Internal Security Agency

https://www.abw.gov.pl/en/our-powers/316,Our-powers.html
2021-11-29, 22:02

The scope of tasks given to the ISA was complemented by a number of operational and investigative powers. In carrying out their tasks specified by statute, ISA officers have the same investigative powers as the Police under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The ISA can, on order from a court of law or a public prosecutor’s office, carry out acts in proceedings specified in the Code of Criminal Procedure or the Punishment Execution Code.

While carrying out their duties ISA officers may, among other things, carry out the following acts within the limits of existing legal provisions:

  • Order specific behaviour
  • Require individuals to produce their ID or give their personal details
  • Arrest individuals
  • Search individuals and premises
  • Carry out body searches
  • Inspect the contents of luggage as well as cargo in land, air and water transport
  • Require help from government institutions, government and self-government administration bodies as well as entrepreneurs doing business in the Public Utilities Services sector
  • Request indispensable help from other (...) entrepreneurs, entities and public organisations, and to request any person, in situations of utmost urgency and within the limits of binding legal regulations, for immediately needed assistance.

ISA officers are empowered to use firearms only in situations defined in detail by law.

In carrying out some investigative powers such as arrest of dangerous criminals, e.g. armed ones, it is necessary to use special support forces. The ISA has its own, specialised anti-terrorist team whose tasks include, among other things, making sure arrests are made safely in the course of investigations run by the Agency.

In order to gather evidential material for court, it is often necessary to use sophisticated scientific expertise in many fields. In organisational structure the ISA has a special unit - Forensic Laboratory where specialists in various branches of science carry out examinations and give expert opinions on evidence obtained in proceedings.

The ISA operational and investigative powers are subject to supervision by various democratic institutions, from the President of the RP, to the Parliament of the RP to the Constitutional Tribunal to the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection.

 

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