Majority of Poles take EU Court of Justice side in fighting PiS attack on courts

Among those surveyed, 58% feel that the CJEU has the right to stop the Law and Justice-led “reform” of the judiciary if the Court of Justice rules it violates EU law. Only 35% disagree. The arguments given by the government, which maintains that the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice does not have the right to take up the issue of Polish courts, are even failing to convince PiS voters. Polish women are pro-EU: they are far more likely than men to take the side of the EU’s highest court.

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EU Court of Justice poised to draw line in sand over judicial independence in Poland

Poland’s Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, Maciej Taborowski, explains the significance of prejudicial questions submitted by Polish courts. On Tuesday 19 November, the CJEU will issue a crucial ruling determining the status of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court and the neo-National Council of the Judiciary.

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Defiant judges under fire for not following the party line

Disciplinary officer Michał Lasota is prosecuting three judges from Gdańsk for a verdict they issued. This is yet another disciplinary case initiated against judges for performing their judicial duties. Disciplinary proceedings for verdicts not only serve to intimidate judges, but also violate their independence.

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Law and Justice’s Concentrated Power over Polish Prosecutors

On 8 July 2019, prosecutor Mariusz Krasoń was relocated from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Cracow, Poland to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Wrocław-Krzyki, almost 300 km away, and two levels lower in the hierarchy. The Justice Defence Committee (KOS) indicates that in May 2019, prosecutor Krasoń initiated a resolution of the Assembly of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Cracow.

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CJEU Yet Again Slams Judicial “Reforms” in Judge Retirement Age Verdict

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled for a second time that a cornerstone of the PiS-led judicial “reforms” is incompatible with EU law. In its verdict of 5 November, the CJEU stated that the provisions of the Common Courts Act adopted in 2017, including those making the retirement ages for men and women different, infringed the prohibition on discrimination and violated the principle of effective judicial protection.

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Freedom of expression of judges and prosecutors: UNHRC report

While the freedom of expression of public officials can be sometimes restricted with a view to protecting the impartiality and independence of institutions, in the event of a breach of the rule of law, judges and prosecutors can be seen as having a moral duty to speak out – says the report.

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Lacking a majority, PiS needs the Senate to install a new Commissioner for Human Rights

The Senate in opposition hands means the end of Law and Justice’s dreams of subordinating the Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights. Without the consent of senators, the new Commissioner will not take up the post in 2020 after Adam Bodnar’s current term ends. If the Senate rejects the candidates put forward by PiS, Bodnar may remain in the post of Commissioner longer. And continue to point out where PiS is breaking the law.

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Disappointment and the Polish Parliamentary Elections

Even the winners of yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Poland can feel (at least somewhat) like losers. There are many possible scenarios for how events will unfold, and underlying tensions threaten to wreak havoc among the main parties. While there are many reasons for all parties to be satisfied, there are also many reasons why they may look to the upcoming Sejm with trepidation rather than excitement.

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Balicki: The worst Sejm in three decades has destroyed Polish parliamentarism

Ryszard Balicki, a leading Polish constitutional scholar from the University of Wrocław, has passed judgement: the current Sejm whose term is now coming to a close, responsible for violations of established traditions and the Constitution as well, was a mute and essentially pointless Sejm. Who is responsible? In large part, the former Marshal of the Sejm, Marek Kuchciński.

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Informal exercise of power – a comfortable way to undermine democracy in Hungary

Viktor Orbán’s government is masterful at creating a feudal relationship of social dependence by employing informal means of coercion. And while informal means of coercion play a very important role in the regime aiming at consolidating his power, international observers are practically unable to address systemically and effectively.

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