Statutory tinkering: on the Senate’s changes to the Law on the Polish Constitutional Tribunal

The infamous law on the Polish Constitutional Tribunal of July 7th has met with an outcry of criticism among constitutional scholars. Last week, the upper chamber of the Polish Parliament, the Senate, has introduced a number of changes to meet some of the concerns. On the whole the effort amounts to little more than statutory tinkering, though. The effect, the emasculation of constitutional control in Poland, remains unchanged.

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„What is Going on in Poland is an Attack against Democracy“

„A constitutional coup d’état“: Wojciech Sadurski, one of Poland’s foremost jurisprudence scholars, dissects the strategy of the Polish government to disembowel the Polish Constitutional Tribunal.

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Farewell to the Polish Constitutional Court

The Law of July, 7th 2016 on the Polish Constitutional Court leaves no doubts that the parliamentary majority lead by Law and Justice party (PiS) is not holding back and is determined to see its plan through to make sure that Court is finally tamed and incapacitated. The Law signals the death knell for the Court. The institution once recognized as powerful, efficient and independent from whatever powers that be is left at the mercy of the politicians, and unable to effectively wield its power of judicial review. Most importantly, the Law will make it impossible for the Court to provide an effective check on the excesses of parliamentary majority.

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Wie kommt die FAZ darauf, dass „Warschau auf Kritiker zugeht“?

Polens Regierung will uns glauben machen, die Verfassungskrise sei mit dem jüngsten Gesetz zur Reform der Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit aus der Welt geschafft – und nicht wenige Medien fallen drauf rein. Dabei ist das Gegenteil richtig.

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A Citizens‘ Attempt to Solve the Polish Constitutional Crisis

Polish civil society groups have drafted a bill regarding the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal, expecting that the governing party PiS does not intend to legally solve the severe constitutional crisis it has created. We document the speech the representative of these groups, Jaroslaw Marciniak, gave in the Sejm on June 9th 2016.

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Chronos and Kairos of Constitutionalism – The Polish case

Τοῖς πᾶσι χρόνος καὶ καιρὸς τῷ παντὶ πράγματι ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν. This Septuagint translation of a verse from the book of Ecclesiastes points to a fundamental distinction regarding the transience – the distinction between chronos (time) and kairos (a right moment). Time is everlasting and consists of singular kairoi. Kairos, being its constitutive part, should not defy the structure of time. This distinction bares on the way in which we should understand any change of a constitution that claims to belong to free and equal citizens.

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Transformation of EU Constitutionalism

The EU constitutionalism has been transformed. For the worse. The causes for that are well known. They are the sum of consecutive, unresolved financial, economic, political, humanitarian and security crises. This post is not interested into causal relationship between the crises. It centers instead on their aggregate negative outcome and the possible way ahead. It asks what exactly the EU constitutionalism, as a dominant narrative of European integration, has (d)evolved into and what can be done to fix its fissures?

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Polish Judiciary and Constitutional Fidelity: beyond the institutional “Great Yes”?

The Polish Supreme Court and the Polish Supreme Administrative Court both have published resolutions to back the Constitutional Court in its conflict with the ruling PiS majority in Parliament. The statements from Poland’s highest courts and the societal mobilization are first symptoms of a constitutional fidelity in the making.

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Für eine Verfassungskrise gibt es keine politische Lösung

Was Polen will, kann die EU-Kommission nicht akzeptieren, und umgekehrt. Nach Wochen des „konstruktiven Dialogs“ (Kommissionsvize Frans Timmermans) gibt es immer noch überhaupt kein Zeichen des Aufeinanderzugehens. Ist das schlimm? Im Gegenteil.

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How to protect European Values in the Polish Constitutional Crisis

Does the Polish development concern us — the European citizens and the European institutions we have set up? There is a functional and a normative argument to state that it does. The normative argument is that the European Union organizes a community of states that profess allegiance to a set of fundamental values—among others, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. The functional reason is that the European legal space presupposes mutual trust. European law operates on the presumption that all institutions are law-abiding. Otherwise, the legal edifice crumbles.

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