The article discusses the overall activities of the Polish Public Prosecutor in the area of international cooperation in criminal matters. The analysis is carried on three levels: functional, competence and organizational. The starting point for the author is an attempt to explain the relationship between two terms: 'mutual legal assistance' and 'cooperation'. The author has proposed the following classification of the international cooperation in criminal matters: I - legal assistance: (1) extradition (including its modern forms, such as 'surrender' to the International Criminal Court and the European Arrest Warrant within the European Union) and (2) mutual judicial assistance sensu stricto; II - other forms (modalities) of cooperation: (1) transfer of proceedings and (2) enforcement of foreign criminal judgments: (a) transfer of offenders (sentenced persons), (b) transfer of supervision over offenders conditionally sentenced or conditionally released, (c) enforcement of other sanctions and penal measures, (d) seizure and confiscation of proceeds from an offence; III - joint investigation teams; IV - cooperation between police and similar authorities (e.g. customs). The main legal basis of the Public Prosecutor's activities in this field are provisions of Chapter XIII of the Polish Code of Criminal Proceedings. The Code has adopted the following two fundamental principles: superiority of international treaties and sufficiency of the Code's provisions as a basis for cooperation. However, if in a concrete case, the cooperation is grounded on the domestic law mutuality is required. The first principle is expressed in Article 615 paragraph l which stipulates that provisions of this chapter are not applied if an international treaty ratified by Poland or a legal act establishing an international criminal tribunal provides otherwise. The term 'international treaty' should be given a broad interpretation: it covers both multilateral conventions and bilateral agreements.
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