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Dr. Alicja Ornowska

District Court Bydgoszcz, Poland (DAAD, short-term research grant)

Project: Human Rights Standards and Non-custodial Penalties. Insight into Interrelations from the Perspective of Comparative Law.

The hypothesis of the research is that alternative punishments, just like the penalty of deprivation of liberty might violate human rights standards under certain normative prerequisites. The research will focus upon fines, community service orders and electronic monitoring. It will be described, when an imposed fine can be accessed as excessive and dysfunctional. Community service orders will be tested for being in conformity with the prohibition of slavery and the prohibition of forced and compulsory labour. Electronic monitoring, on the other hand, might under certain circumstances conflict with the right to privacy of third persons. In many acts of international law non-custodial penalties are treated as an antidote to the present condition of penitentiary system. It is believed that they can be effective alternatives to prison isolation and therefore means to combat prison overcrowding. The promotion of the non-custodial punishments is understandable. Nonetheless, there should be legal safeguards to prevent imposing sanctions that infringe fundamental rights.