Paper/Speech Details of Conference Program for the 29th NISPAcee Annual Conference Program Overview WG9: The Rule of Law & Public Administration (Physical) Author(s) Wojciech Piątek Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan Poznan Poland Title A right to a public hearing before administrative courts in the pandemia – significance, reality and expectations for the future File Paper files are available only for conference participants, please login first. Presenter Wojciech Piątek Abstract The pandemia has changed many traditional and non-questioned rules of our functioning, including participation in court`s proceedings. One of the fundamental principles of each dispute is the right to a public hearing treated as a component for a fair trial together with reasonable time dispute and court`s independence (the article 6 § 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights; the article 47 of the EU Charter). In the pandemia due to health conditions, the preserverance of this right has been in some countries, including Poland, limited or even excluded. As an alternative, many court disputes are continued in private or are suspended. There is no doubt, that a right to the public hearing (non-limited access to hearings, to information about court-disputes and to public pronouncing of judgments) has crutial importance for a fair trial and creation trust to courts. Nevertheless, the current pandemia and limitations of public hearings leads to several questions connected with a significance and realisation of this right. Is it justified to resign from public hearings in order to protect citizens before pandemia? Is the practice of cancelling public hearings because of pandemia conform with European and national standards of the rule of law? How the realisation of this guarantee can be supplemented (by use of electronic devices, limitated access to court`s rooms or organizing public hearings in the biggest halls) or supported by greater court`s openess for electronic communication with citizens? Is it obligatory to create a right to public hearing at each instance-level? In which correlation is the right of public hearing with a determination of a court dispute in a reasonable time? Beside general remarks, the phenomenon of public hearings will be presented from a perspective of administrative judiciary which control the legality of public administration and adjudication based mainly on documents. In the court-administrative disputes a potential for a resignation from public hearings is greater than in civil or criminal proceedings. It does not mean, that this right can be omitted, but adapted to specific conditions of court-administrative disputes. It is worth considering to resign from a general rule of public hearings in favour of formulation by parties of court`s proceedings concrete motions with extra reasons justified an organisation of such hearings. This initiative should be given also court`s panels ex officio. The analysis will be based on the European and national, mainly the Polish and the German, legal orders. Beside the normative analysis, the sociological data will be presented (numbers of cases solved by the administrative courts in Poland and in Germany in private and in camera, time frames in which the disputes were solved). In the final part of the presentation, the answers on the above mentioned questions will be given.