Rule of Law in Poland - Statement by KOD (Committee for the Defence of Democracy)

The Draft Law on the Amendment of the Law on Common Court System, Law on the Supreme Court and certain other Laws introduced on December 12, 2019 to the Polish Parliament (Sejm) by the deputies of the Law & Justice party provides for a number of unacceptable changes regulating the modes of work of courts and prosecutor’s offices.

These include unprecedented steps whose aim is to force judges to ignore the verdict of the Court of Justice of the European Union of November 19, 2019.

The proposed regulations affect directly judicial independence by introducing, among others, a disciplinary delict in the case of refusing to apply a regulation if not previously questioned by the Constitutional Tribunal.

This is clearly an attempt to prevent courts from making an independent evaluation of the validity of the appointment of judges by the National Council for the Judiciary (Neo KRS) as recommended in the CJEU ruling.

It furthermore obligates them to disregard the European law under the threat of utmost disciplinary sanctions going as far as a ban from legal practice.

Thus the government declares an open war on the independent judicial system, heading directly for Polexit.

For you cannot be in the European community and at the same time amend your judicial system in a way which makes the application of European law impossible.

The proposed regulations are a desperate attempt to stop the erosion of the so-called court reform when it has become evident that it is in breach of EU law.

Symbolic is the date of the introduction of the draft bill - one day before an anniversary of martial law of 1981, likewise aimed at curbing the democratic change in Poland.

We must not let this happen again. We urge everyone to protest against the proposed amendments.

Let us take to the streets all over the country on Wednesday, December 18 - on the eve of the next Parliament session.

Today it’s the judges, tomorrow it will be you!


General Board of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy

13 December, 2019 


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