Since November 2015, Poland has experienced a number of detrimental changes to the justice system.
The new governing Law and Justice (PiS) party increased political control over key institutions of Polish judiciary, including the Constitutional Tribunal, the Supreme Court, the National Council of the Judiciary, ordinary courts, and the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
According to both international and domestic bodies, such as the Venice Commission, the European Commission, judicial associations and civil society organisations, these amendments pose a serious threat to the rule of law.
The Commission’s concerns ultimately led to triggering the Article 7(1) procedure – an unprecedented move in the history of the European integration. Its purpose is clear: to safeguard that EU member states adhere to core values enshrined in Article 2 TEU, namely respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. The attempts to dismantle the independence of the judiciary have also been brought before the Court of Justice of the EU by the Commission and national courts which initiated infringement and preliminary reference proceedings.
Despite we sometimes disagree about particular public policies or meaning of certain values we agreed that the rule of law is the very foundation of the peaceful cooperation between people therefore it safeguards all other values, irrespective to their particular meaning. We believe that the rule of law matters and this is why we decided to establish the RuleOfLaw.pl website.
Rule of Law in Poland is an English-language online resource on recent developments concerning all principles which fall within the scope of the rule of law, including the separation of powers, independence of the judiciary, respect to the Constitution and international commitments, civic participation and transparency. The website was founded by two distinguished civil society organisations: the Wiktor Osiatyński Archive and the Civil Development Forum (FOR) in cooperation with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.
Our goal is to provide relevant, trustworthy and up-to-date information and analysis on how the rule of law is undermined by Polish authorities. The content is curated by notable lawyers, journalists, and analysts who cover the said issue for Polish audiences.
The website consist of three main sections:
- Latest – important news related to the rule of law in Poland,
- Essential readings – recommended reports, academic papers, and other documents with summaries provided by the editorial team,
- Analysis & Opinion – scholars’ and lawyers’ take on key issues.
Follow us if you want to stay updated about the state of democracy in Poland.
Rule of Law in Poland team:
Matthew La Fontaine (@mlafontaine_PL)
Rule of Law in Poland editor
Małgorzata Szuleka (@m_szuleka), Maciej Kalisz
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Warsaw
You can find our posts under #RuleOfLawPL.
This project is supported by the Civic Fund (Fundusz Obywatelski) managed by the Foundation for Poland