Department of Substantive Criminal Law and Criminology

Research staff:

Assoc. Prof. Wojciech Zalewski, DSc (Head of the Department) [e-mail]

Assoc. Prof. Jacek Potulski, DSc [e-mail]

Beata Czarnecka-Dzialuk, PhD [e-mail]

Bartosz Kędzierski, PhD [e-mail]

Paweł Petasz, PhD [e-mail]

Krzysztof Stasiak, PhD [e-mail]

Katarzyna Jakubczak-Fopke, MA [e-mail]

Andrzej Lewna, MA [e-mail]


Department secretary:

Hanna Rutkiewicz, MA


Research areas:
  • Aims and functions of the criminal punishment
  • Time in criminal law
  • A child as an object of a prohibited act
  • Philosophical and historical foundations of criminal law and criminology
  • Criminal aspects of mobbing
  • Criminal law aspects of systemic transformation and the requirements of a democratic state of law
  • Multiculturalism and criminal law
  • Non-positivist concepts of law
  • New directions of the criminal policy
  • Protection of human rights in the European Union
  • Criminal liability of managers
  • Liability of collective entities for prohibited acts under the penalty of penalty
  • The neoclassical paradigm in criminal law and criminology
  • Human rights in Canada
  • Language rights of minorities as fundamental and subjective rights
  • Criminal law in the face of contemporary challenges
  • The issue of the death penalty
  • Computer crimes
  • Offenses against sexual freedom
  • Offenses against freedom of conscience and religion
  • Offenses against life and health
  • Relations between criminal law and religion
  • Restorative justice in criminal law
  • Transformational Justice
  • Offenses

Scientific development and research of the Department
on the 50th Anniversary of the Faculty of Law and Administration (1970-2020)

Material criminal law is the subject of research and teaching at the Department of Substantive Criminal Law and Criminology, which previously (until 2010) carried the name of the Department of Material and Executive Criminal Law and Forensic Psychiatry. The Division of Criminology operates within the Department. Both of these bodies conduct research in the field of substantive criminal law, as well as penitentiary science, criminology, and victimology. Scientifically, they derive from prof. dr Marian Cieślak, head of the Department of Law and Criminal Procedure from 1974 to1992. The work of professor Marian Cieślak has become a reference point for the work of specialists in substantive and procedural criminal law.
From the perspective of substantive criminal law, professor Cieślak’s work Prawo karne. Zarys systemowego ujęcia, re-published and revised many times over the years shaped the Gdańsk thought of substantive criminal law and resonated within the Polish science of criminal law.
A continuation of the thought of professor Marian Cieślak was the textbook authored by prof. dr hab. Jarosław Warylewski titled: Prawo karne. Część ogólna (1st edition in 2004, 7th edition in 2017) updated many times. This textbook became the basis of the Criminal Law course lecture given in full-time and part time courses in law, criminalistics and administration. It is an extremely comprehensive, systemic work describing the general principles of criminal liability in Poland. It is one of the most important textbook publications in the field of criminal law in Poland. It contains an extensive historical section, discusses the general principles of criminal liability, and outlines the system of penalties and other means of criminal repression. Repeated publication several times over the years has formed the basis of the criminal law lecture at the Faculty.
From the perspective of the very large number of publications in the field of criminal law in a broad sense (both criminal-material lawyers and procesualists have over a thousand publications), the participation of the Faculty of Criminal Law and Criminology in the work on criminal criminal law systems – both the initial project, which ended in two volumes, and the current project should be highlighted. Professor Marian Cieślak was the author of the chapter Przestępstwa przeciwko życiu (co-author J. Waszczyński), (in:) System of Criminal Law, Vol. IV, Part I, published by Ossolineum in 1985. The currently published System Prawa Karnego by CH Beck is a scholarly work presenting the whole of Polish criminal law. It is certainly the most important criminal law publication of the 21st century. The Faculty of Criminal Law and Criminology played a fundamental role in its formation. Professor dr hab. Jarosław Warylewski was the editor of Volume X on crimes against individual goods (Przestępstwa przeciwko dobrom indywidualnym). Professor Jarosław Warylewski was also author of two chapters in individual volumes of this study. The co-authors of the volumes of the system were also dr hab. Wojciech Zalewski, prof. UG and dr hab. Jacek Potulski. This contribution is certainly an important part of the Department's output. The assignment of editing the volume of the system is an expression of very high confidence and a proof of appreciation for scientific achievements. The authorship of individual chapters of this study also highlights the importance of the achievements of the Faculty of Criminal Law and Criminology for the study of criminal law in Poland.
More than 400 publications by prof. Marian Cieślak include: Psychiatria w procesie karnym (co-authors: K. Spett,W. Wolter), - published by Wydawnictwo Prawnicze three times until 1977. Among the monographic publications of the Department of Substantive Criminal Law and Criminology, there are the publications of prof. dr hab. Jarosław Warylewski: Molestowanie seksualne w miejscu pracy, Sopot 1999; Przestępstwa seksualne Gdańsk 2001; Przestępstwa przeciwko wolności seksualnej i obyczajności. Komentarz, Warszawa 2001; Wstęp do nauki prawa karnego, Gdańsk 2002; Zasady techniki prawodawczej. Komentarz do rozporządzenia (Editor and co-author), Warszawa 2003; Odpowiedzialność podmiotów zbiorowych w prawie polskim i europejskim (co-author: dr hab. Jacek Potulski); Bydgoszcz 2006; Kara. Podstawy filozoficzne i historyczne, Gdańsk 2007. The publications of prof. Jarosław Warylewski (in particular, the habilitation monograph – Przestępstwa seksualne) became the foundation of the scientific development of the Department – it also resulted in the involvement of prof. Jarosław Warylewski in drafts of commentaries on the Criminal Code and the aforementioned – System of Criminal Law (System Prawa Karnego). Also among the publications cited is a pioneering discussion of the collective liability act.
The publications of the Division of Criminology are a fundamental element of the criminology studies in Poland, in particular, the monographs of dr hab. Wojciech Zalewski, prof. UG titled: Sprawiedliwość naprawcza początek ewolucji polskiego prawa karnego? Gdańsk 2006 and Przestępca "niepoprawny" - jako problem polityki kryminalnej Gdańsk 2010. The publications of prof. Wojciech Zalewski became milestones in the development of Criminology – for the first time a comprehensive analysis of the concept of restorative justice was carried out, which from a somewhat enigmatic point of view became one of the foundations of the modern understanding of the concept of "justice." Moreover, the following considerations of prof. Wojciech Zalewski at the international level were published in English: chapter titled Restorative justice and mediation in penal matters: a stock-taking of legal issues, implementation strategies and outcomes in 36 European countries in Schriften zum Strafvolzug, Jugendstrafrecht und zur Kriminlogie (Eds. Frieder Dünkel, Joanna Grzywa-Holten, Philip Horsfield). The result of this research was also the monograph Przestępca "niepoprawny" - jako problem polityki kryminalnej.
Dr Tomasz Snarski's monographic publication Debata Hart - Fuller i jej znacznie dla filozofii prawa, Gdańsk 2018 was awarded the prize of the Gdańsk Scientific Society and the President of the City of Gdańsk for outstanding individual scientific achievements. It met (still as a doctoral dissertation) not only with very good opinions in the proceedings of granting the degree, but also collected very good reviews from readers.
The monographs co-authored by dr Krzysztof Stasiak entitled Ustawa o kuratorach sądowych. Komentarz published in 2008 and 2014 (II Ed.) and monographs in which he was co – editor – Zarys metodyki kuratora sądowego - Ed. I and II, respectively issued in 2008 and in 2010, are very important for the practice of justice
Among the monographic publications of the Department are the monographs of dr hab. Mirosław Surkont, prof. UG: Łapownictwo, Sopot 1999 and dr hab. Jacek Potulski titled: Dziecko jako przedmiot czynu zabronionego Gdańsk 2007, and: Korupcja w ujęciu normatywnym. Odpowiedzialność karne i jej wyłączenie, Sopot 2018. It is worth noting that the Department has done a comprehensive analysis of corruption crimes in two fundamentally different legal situations. This is an interesting development, especially since it concerns a social phenomenon that is extremely difficult but also very interesting for scientific research. Importantly, it addresses a problem where smart crime policies have led to a fundamental reduction in crime.
As can be seen, in addition to the book publications, which were the next stages of scientific development of the Department's staff, there appeared important items of scientific output expressed in the form of articles and comments. It is also worth to emphasize the practical importance of the participation of Jarosław Warylewski, Wojciech Zalewski, Jacek Potulski, Paweł Petasz and Ryszard Skarbek in commentary publications. References include: Kodeks karny. Komentarz, Warszawa 2018, (and earlier editions), Kodeks karny wykonawczy. Komentarz, Warszawa 2018. (and earlier editions). The staff of the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology were the authors of commentaries on a number of chapters of the criminal code and the executive criminal code.
Thanks mainly to the efforts of prof. Wojciech Zalewski with the great support of Bartosz Kędzierski and many other faculty members, in the academic year 2013/2014, Criminology studies were launched. From the very beginning, this course was in the top three most popular courses at the University of Gdańsk. In the first year of recruitment, nationwide records were broken - more than 40 candidates applied for one place. Second-cycle criminology was launched three years later as a natural continuation of undergraduate studies. The first and second-cycle courses are taught full-time and part-time. In the academic year 2019/2020, English-language Criminology and Crime Justice Studies were launched under the framework of the ProUG program.
The development of Criminology also resulted in the creation of the English-language scientific journal Polish Journal of Criminology (2014). The editor-in-chief and creator of this journal is prof. Wojciech Zalewski. The journal is a platform for the exchange of modern criminological thought.
The above-mentioned topics of both scientific papers provide an opportunity for a broader assessment of the scope of research undertaken in the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology. Of course, these issues can be divided into two main categories – substantive and criminological. But not only that – there are also procedural and executive considerations as well as those that relate to the issue of legal education. Outside these spheres, there are also legal, philosophical, or religious or human rights issues.
Research on sexual crime is particularly highlighted in our department (prof. Jarosław Warylewski) or criminal politics or restorative justice (prof. Wojciech Zalewski). The issue of crime related to professional sport has recently been one of the main interests of dr hab. Jacek Potulski. Mgr Bartosz Kędzierski enters the almost uncharted territory of electronic surveillance analysis as part of his doctoral dissertation. Surely, too, the widely understood white-collar crimes, including corruption, have for many years received a number of publications, be it systemic, article or commentary. There is also no doubt that the very rich scientific activity of the Department concerned a number of issues both in the dogmatics of criminal law at the level of general regulation and in particular types of crimes. It is worth pointing out that many times these were systemic studies (textbooks) as well as in-depth scientific works on particular types of crime (e.g. against religious or economic freedom). The scientific interests of the Department's staff have also resulted in the development of international cooperation – here the work of the Department of Criminology should be particularly emphasized. In turn, dogmatic studies of Polish criminal law have also resulted in a very wide level of quotation in case law practice of Polish courts, including, most importantly, the Supreme Court.
The project is financed by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange
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Submitted on Monday, 22. March 2021 - 14:45 by Sławomir Dajkowski Changed on Thursday, 26. May 2022 - 13:13 by Sławomir Dajkowski