Acta Iuris Stetinensis (Jan 2018)

Kilka uwag na tema t istoty błędu (rozważania na tle polskiego prawa karnego)

  • Konrad Burdziak

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 21


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Error of the perpetrator plays an important role in Polish criminal law. That is because at times it contributes to accepting a particular legal qualification of the perpetrator’s behavior or a basis of the penalty for their particular behavior, which would be different than the one accepted when there would be no error on their side. Whereas sometimes – because of the dominant role in the Polish law of normative approach to culpability (comprehensive and pure), which purpose is to find out the nature of culpability in the element of negative evaluation of the perpetrator and their behavior – it is used to exclude the perpetrator’s culpability, or – to be more precise – prevent from attributing the culpability to the perpetrator. This fact is reflected in at least the following four regulations of the Penal Code: art. 28 § 1 k.k. (error regarding circumstances of a criminal offense from art. 28 § 1 k.k.), art. 28 § 2 k.k. (error regarding circumstances of a criminal offense from art. 28 § 2 k.k.), art. 29 k.k. (error regarding circumstances excluding unlawfulness and error regarding circumstances excluding culpability) and art. 30 k.k. (error of law). Of course, each of aforementioned errors might rise some doubts. This work, however is not devoted to analyzing particular errors (and their effects) distinguished in Polish criminal law, but to a more general matter, specifically – the matter of nature of error, or trying to answer a question – what is an error, what it consists of. As a result of conducted deliberations, one can definitely distinguish some kind of bilaterality of error. It should be emphasized that each error consists of a false assumption that some matter presents itself differently than in reality, and on the other hand of ignorance of the fact that it doesn’t. At the same time it has been concluded that the ignorance of the real shape of things is just an accompanying element and a crucial, but not only required circumstance of an error.