Constitutional Capture in Poland 2016 and Beyond: What is Next?

2016 will go down in history as fundamental in the institutional history of Polish Constitutionalism. It began with an unprecedented attack on the Constitutional Tribunal, rule of law, checks and balances and judicial independence. It ends with full-blown constitutional crisis. The dramatic events in the Sejm and on the streets only corroborate that Poland is on the slippery slope towards autocracy.

Continue Reading →

Statement by the former presidents of the Constitutional Tribunal: Marek Safjan, Jerzy Stępień, Bohdan Zdziennicki and Andrzej Zoll

Four former presidents of the beleaguered Polish Constitutional Tribunal have issued a powerful statement calling on the legal community and the President to defend the Court and, indeed, the constitutional order of the Republic.

Continue Reading →

Is the EU Commission’s Rule of Law Fight about Poland already lost?

In ten days, the deadline set by the EU Commission to Poland in the current stand-off about the Polish constitutional crisis will expire. A lot is at stake for both sides. In Warsaw few expect that the Commission will still be able to keep the ruling party from having it their way.

Continue Reading →

Hat die EU das Kräftemessen mit Polen bereits verloren?

Zehn Tage. So lange hat Polens Regierungspartei mit dem schönen Namen "Recht und Gerechtigkeit" (PiS) noch Zeit, den Konflikt mit der EU-Kommission um das polnische Verfassungsgericht beizulegen. Für beide Seiten steht enorm viel auf dem Spiel. Doch in Warschau rechnet kaum jemand damit, dass die EU die Entmachtung des Verfassungsgerichts noch stoppen kann. Eine Recherche.

Continue Reading →

"The National Council of the Judiciary is under attack in different ways"

While the crisis about the Polish Constitutional Tribunal remains unresolved, ordinary judges in Poland and the constitutional body responsible to safeguard their independence increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs of the vindictive governing party PiS as well. An interview with Waldemar Żurek, spokesman of the National Council of the Judiciary of Poland.

Continue Reading →

Constitutional justice in Handcuffs? Gloves are off in the Polish Constitutional Conflict

A high-ranking PiS politician has announced that those Constitutional Tribunal judges who will not bend to the will of the PiS majority will be removed from office. This marks a new step of escalation in the ongoing constitutional crisis in Poland.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →

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.

Continue Reading →