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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Kaczyński details PiS plans for “vetting” Polish judges after Sunday’s election

The head of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has stated that the ruling party will complete its “reform” of the justice system, overcoming what he calls “the last barrier”. Kaczyński invokes the Polish constitution, which provides mechanisms for the reorganization of the courts. In practice, this will mean a vetting of all judges in the country and the removal of those who fail to toe the line.

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Undemocratic but Formally Lawful: The Suspension of the Polish Parliament

While the attention of many constitutional law scholars has been on the UK Government’s decision to prorogue Parliament and first judicial responses, the Polish Sejm’s plenary sitting has been unexpectedly suspended and postponed until after the general elections of 13 October 2019. The decision has a precedential nature. For the first time since the Polish Constitution entered into force, the ‘old’ Sejm is sitting while the ‘new’ Sejm will be waiting for an opening. Although this decision is formally compliant with the Polish Constitution, it is nonetheless undemocratic and raises some serious questions about the motivation behind this move.

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AG Tanchev gives robust defence of judges’ right to turn to CJEU

CJEU Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev confirmed that judges may pose preliminary questions to the Court of Justice concerning their independence in the context of the disciplinary system for judges in EU Member States.

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Poland’s Justice Minister Continues Dissembling about Judiciary “Reform”

The Law and Justice government argues that the reforms introduced since 2015 do not differ from solutions in place elsewhere. But Law and Justice has politicised the National Council of the Judiciary and subjugated the Constitutional Tribunal. They are trying to take over the Supreme Court and is going after judges who dare to voice criticism. They have carried out a ghastly purge in the public prosecutorial service. Every particular change is troubling, but all the more so when viewed in its entirety.

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“Kings of Life” in Polish prosecutor’s office – a report by the LSO Prosecutors’ Association

The report details the negative consequences of the changes in the prosecutorial service implemented by the Law and Justice government. It also reveals a number of pathological situations related mainly to personnel policy as the foundation of the so-called prosecutorial reform.

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Harassment campaign conducted against leader of independent prosecutors

Krzysztof Parchimowicz, head of the Lex Super Omnia association of prosecutors, is the target of over a dozen different disciplinary proceedings. This is being done to exert a chilling effect on prosecutors who are critical of changes in the justice system that are being rammed through by the governing majority in Poland.

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Faced with Doubts over Body’s Legality, Judiciary Council President Remains Unrepentant

During his report to the Parliament, the president of the neo-KRS declared that the members of the Council would not leave their posts even in the event the CJEU rules against them. Only the Polish authorities can force them out.

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An interview with Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska, who refuses to adjudicate with Radzik. “I’m not afraid. My oath is to the Republic.”

Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska was the first justice in Poland to adjudicate with a judge whose name arose in conjunction with a smear campaign against independent judges. Bator-Ciesielska is already being prosecuted by the disciplinary spokesman, but in an interview with Mariusz Jałoszewski of OKO.press she says that judges must have a conscience, and that she is not afraid because judges cannot be afraid.

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