2019 World Justice Project award acceptance speech

Share

Professor at the SWPS University, Warsaw, Poland. Ombudsman for the 7th Parliamentary Term (09.2015-07.2021)

More

This distinction is an important recognition for all rule of law defenders in Poland - the Ombudsman is just one of them - said Dr Adam Bodnar in the Hague



30 April 2019

 

Adam Bodnar, Stanisław Trociuk

 

Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

 

Ceremony – World Justice Project award

 

Dear Honourable Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

It is my great honor to receive the World Justice Project award.

 

I would like to thank the Award Committee for this honorable distinction.

 

I would like to dedicate this Award to Professor Karol Modzelewski, a great Polish hero, who passed away on Sunday in the age of 81.

 

Karol Modzelewski was a historian and dissident, imprisoned for 8 years for his political beliefs during Communist times.

 

He was always fighting for democratic Poland. But – he was not satisfied with changes after 1989. He claimed that Poland regained freedom, but it forgot about equality and brotherhood.

 

Poland over 25 years of democratic transformation has reached the stage when liberal democracy stopped to meet expectations of the whole society.

 

In his opinion vulnerable and neglected people started to regard democracy as a machinery which is hiding the conspiracy of elites. One of the reasons was not delivering justice to all of them.

 

Such distrust of a huge part of the Polish society (approximately 1/3) opened the way for populist narrative and attack on democratic and rule of law institutions in 2015.

 

This attack is still ongoing. The ruling party is trying to create – as Karol Modzelewski framed it – “police state” with different instruments allowing to stay in power and controlling citizens.

 

Currently the judicial independence is at stake.

 

As the Ombudsman I try to do everything what is possible in order to save rule of law in my country. I know that rule of law is not a zero-one game. Rule of Law Index by World Justice Project is a great tool to explain to the public opinion that the change is not happening overnight.

 

States may slide into authoritarian rule as a result of series of actions, which are not even noticeable by citizens on a daily basis. But after a few years you are waking up in a completely different country. That is the reason why you have to be cautious almost every day.

 

But you must also respond to needs of society, that rule of law guarantees should be of value for everybody. My office tries to show its importance to citizens by regular visits in different regions of Poland, by litigation of numerous cases, by submission of hundreds of interventions and recommendations.

 

I think that this distinction is an important recognition for all rule of law defenders in Poland – the Ombudsman is just one of them. I treat this award as the solidarity of whole global rule of law community not only with myself, but with all those who fight in Poland for freedom, human rights and rule of law: civil society, members of academia, judges, prosecutors, attorneys.

 

I do believe that thanks to intensive work and international solidarity we will be able to overcome the current serious crisis. If we succeed, our experience will be of great value for other countries and institutions facing similar attacks on judicial independence and constitutional order.

 

This recognition is not only for myself, but for the whole Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights. I am just the seventh Ombudsman. I am like a captain of a big ship.

 

When I will step down in September 2020, this 300-staff ship will continue its cruise with such a great people like my deputy – Mr. Stanislaw Trociuk, a navigator of this office. Mr. Trociuk started his career 30 years ago as an assistant to first Ombudsman – Professor Ewa Łętowska.

 

He was deputy ombudsman of four last ombudspersons. He is a great legal mind, with many successes achieved over years, including over 100 victories before the Polish Constitutional Court. For last four years we are like “brothers in arms” in our fight for rule of law in Poland.

Mr. Trociuk, the floor is yours.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

On behalf of the employees of the Ombudsman Office of Poland I would like to express sincere thanks for this honorable distinction.

 

The distinction is a sign that we do our job successfully, but it is also a sign that in Poland the rule of law and the protection of human rights are in crisis. It is only in crisis situations that the defenders of these values come to the fore. They are then perceived and arouse interest.

 

In our work we follow the principle developed by professor Ewa Łętowska, first Polish Ombudsman. She said that every Ombudsman who wants to do his job well, must first and foremost resist the authorities and as strong and loud as possible. Sometimes he loses, sometimes he wins – like in life.

 

However, the Ombudsman “understanding the situation” and liked by government would be a denial of his own sense. Happy persons do not turn to Ombudsman. Our work usually involves encountering human harm and attempting to repair it. Bringing help to others gives satisfaction. This satisfaction is doubled if, as today, our work is noticed and appreciated.

 

Once again, on behalf of the employees of the Ombudsman Office in Poland, thank you for granted award.

 

Source: rpo.gov.pl 



Author


Professor at the SWPS University, Warsaw, Poland. Ombudsman for the 7th Parliamentary Term (09.2015-07.2021)


More

Published

May 1, 2019

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary ChamberConstitutional Tribunaldisciplinary proceedingsPolandZbigniew Ziobrorule of lawEuropean CommissionjudgesCourt of Justice of the EUjudicial independenceNational Council of the JudiciaryEuropean UnionCourt of JusticeAndrzej DudaMałgorzata ManowskaIgor Tuleyadisciplinary systemEuropean Court of Human RightsMateusz MorawieckiCommissioner for Human RightsCJEUMinister of JusticeJarosław KaczyńskiWaldemar Żurekdemocracymuzzle lawpresidential electionsPiotr SchabjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsK 3/21Hungaryelections 2020Kamil Zaradkiewiczdisciplinary commissionerBeata MorawiecPrzemysław RadzikFirst President of the Supreme CourtprosecutorsMichał LasotaEuropean Arrest WarrantMaciej NawackiPrime MinisterJulia Przyłębskamedia freedomProsecutor GeneralConstitutionCOVID-19National Recovery PlanNational Council for JudiciaryPresidentfreedom of expressionŁukasz PiebiakCourt of Justice of the European Unioncriminal lawdisciplinary liability for judgeselectionsWojciech HermelińskiMarek SafjanMałgorzata GersdorfAleksander StepkowskiOSCEPaweł JuszczyszynAnna DalkowskaNational Public Prosecutorcriminal proceedingsfreedom of assemblyStanisław BiernatExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs ChamberSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetWłodzimierz WróbelCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJMinistry of JusticeNational ProsecutorDagmara Pawełczyk-WoickaStanisław PiotrowiczJarosław WyrembakAndrzej Zollacting first president of the Supreme CourtOrdo IurisK 7/21May 10 2020 electionsLex DudaNational Reconstruction PlanPresident of PolandPresident of the Republic of PolandSejmXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandBroda and Bojara v Polandmedia independenceIustitiaJarosław DudziczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczArticle 6 ECHRTHEMISEAWUrsula von der LeyenmediaimmunityCouncil of Europe2017policeJustice Defence Committee – KOSFreedom HouseLech GarlickiEwa ŁętowskaSupreme Court PresidentArticle 7Venice CommissionPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaRecovery FundP 7/20Justice Fundneo-judgesPiSC-791/19National Electoral CommissionAstradsson v IcelandK 6/21Piotr PszczółkowskiPegasusGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court Judgeslex NGOcivil societyRussiaProfessional Liability ChamberJoanna Hetnarowicz-SikorasuspensionJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesReczkowicz and Others v. PolandUkraineKrystian MarkiewiczKonrad WytrykowskiJakub IwaniecZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczDariusz DrajewiczRafał PuchalskidefamationcourtsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsMarzanna Piekarska-DrążekEwa WrzosekEU law primacyChamber of Professional LiabilityTVPLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskijudcial independenceMaciej Miterademocratic backslidingViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetoJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJrecommendationTeresa Dębowska-RomanowskaKazimierz DziałochaMirosław GranatAdam JamrózStefan JaworskiBiruta Lewaszkiewicz-PetrykowskaWojciech ŁączkowskiHuman Rights CommissionerMarek MazurkiewiczCCBEAndrzej MączyńskiThe Council of Bars and Law Societies of EuropeJanusz NiemcewiczMałgorzata Pyziak- SzafnickaStanisław Rymarpublic opinion pollFerdynand RymarzAndrzej RzeplińskiJerzy StępieńPiotr TulejaSławomira Wronkowska-JaśkiewiczMirosław WyrzykowskireportBohdan ZdziennickiMarek ZubikDidier ReyndersEuropean ParliamentOKO.pressZiobroMichał LaskowskiMarek PietruszyńskitransferPiotr GąciarekKrystyna PawłowiczMariusz MuszyńskiRegional Court in KrakówPiebiak gatehuman rightscorruptionEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiAdam SynakiewiczBelarusstate of emergencycoronavirusXero Flor v. PolandEU treatiesAgnieszka Niklas-BibikSłupsk Regional CourtMaciej Rutkiewiczresolution of 23 January 2020Mirosław WróblewskiCivil ChamberJoanna Misztal-KoneckaLeon Kieresright to protestSławomir JęksaPKWWiktor JoachimkowskiRoman GiertychMariusz Kamińskiinfringment actionsurveillanceEU valuesMichał WośMinistry of FinanceCentral Anti-Corruption BureauENCJJacek SasinErnest BejdaThe First President of the Supreme CourtMaciej CzajkaMariusz JałoszewskiIsraelŁukasz Radkeforeign agents lawpolexitDolińska-Ficek and Ozimek v PolandOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtPaulina Kieszkowska-KnapikMaria Ejchart-DuboisAgreement for the Rule of LawPorozumienie dla PraworządnościLGBT free zonesAct sanitising the judiciaryequalityMarek AstMaciej FerekChamber of Extraordinary VerificationEdyta Barańskahate crimesCourt of Appeal in Krakówhate speechPutinismcriminal codeKaczyńskiGrzęda v Polandright to fair trialPaulina AslanowiczJarosław MatrasŻurek v PolandMałgorzata Wąsek-WiaderekSobczyńska and Others v Polandct on the Protection of the PopulatioparliamentlegislationRafał Trzaskowskilex Wośmedia lawRome StatuteInternational Criminal CourtPrzemysła RadzikAntykastaSenateStanisław ZdunIrena BochniakKrystyna Morawa-FryźlewiczMarcin WarchołKatarzyna ChmuraElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiGrzegorz FurmankiewiczJacek CzaputowiczMarek JaskulskiPrzemysław CzarnekJoanna Kołodziej-Michałowiczlegislative practiceEwa ŁąpińskaZbigniew ŁupinaENAPaweł StyrnaZbigniew BoniekKasta/AntykastaAndrzej SkowronŁukasz BilińskiIvan MischenkoOmbudsmanMonika FrąckowiakArkadiusz CichockiKraśnikEmilia SzmydtNorwayTomasz SzmydtNorwegian fundssmear campaignNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsE-mail scandalDworczyk leaksMichał DworczykC-487/19media pluralism#RecoveryFilesArticle 10 ECHRmilestonesConstitutional Tribunal PresidentRegional Court in Amsterdamrepairing the rule of lawharassmentOpenbaar MinisterieAK judgmentBohdan BieniekSimpson judgmentMarcin KrajewskiForum Współpracy SędziówMałgorzata Dobiecka-Woźniakelectoral processChamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairspublic broadcasterWiesław KozielewiczNational Recovery Plan Monitoring CommitteeGrzegorz PudaPiotr MazurekJerzy Kwaśniewskimutual trustPetros TovmasyanLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamthe Regional Court in WarsawUnited NationsLeszek Mazurpopulisminterim measuresautocratizationMultiannual Financial Frameworkabortion rulingequal treatmentabortionprotestsfundamental rightsthe NetherlandsDenmarkSwedenFinlandMariusz KrasońCT PresidentGermanyCelmerC354/20 PPUC412/20 PPUAusl 301 AR 104/19Karlsruheact on misdemeanoursCivil Service ActParliamentary Assembly of the Council of EuropeEUWhite Paperlustrationtransitional justice2018Nations in TransitCouncil of the EUmedia taxStanisław Zabłockiadvertising taxmediabezwyboruJacek KurskiKESMAIndex.huTelex.huJelenJózsef SzájerKlubrádióSLAPPLIBE CommitteeStrategic Lawsuits Against Public ParticipationFrans TimmermansGazeta WyborczaUS Department of StatePollitykaBrussels IRome IISwieczkowskiArticle 2Forum shoppingadvocate generalDariusz ZawistowskitransparencyEuropean Economic and Social Committeepress releaseSebastian KaletaRights and Values ProgrammeC-156/21C-157/21C-619/18Marek Piertuszyńskidefamatory statementsWorld Justice Project awardNational Prosecutor’s Officeintimidation of dissentersWojciech SadurskiBogdan ŚwiączkowskiDisicplinary ChamberjudgeTribunal of StatePechOlsztyn courtKochenovPrzemysła CzarnekEvgeni TanchevEducation MinisterFreedom in the WorldECJIpsosFrackowiakOlimpia Barańska-Małuszeretirement ageAmnesty InternationalHudocKonrad SzymańskiPiotr Bogdanowicztrans-Atlantic valuesPiotr BurasLSOauthoritarian equilibriumlawyersArticle 258Act of 20 December 2019clientelismoligarchic systemEuropean Public Prosecutor's Officerepressive actPolish National FoundationLux VeritatisKoen LenaertsMałgorzata BednarekPiotr WawrzykharrassmentMarian BanaśAlina CzubieniakSupreme Audit OfficeTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediapostal voteKrakówRzeszówborderpostal vote billprimacy