University of Gdańsk

Posts by authors affiliated with University of Gdańsk

10 Juli 2023

Why Europe Must Never Forget about the Polish Constitutional Court

 In 2023, we should have been celebrating the 41st anniversary of the establishment of Polish Constitutional Court. “Should” is used advisedly here because as is well known Poland no longer has a constitutional court. Undoubtedly, the technical question of how to rebuild the Court is important, yet we should also understand why its rebuild must be the first order of the day after the present dark days of total capture. I argue, in this respect, that the EU would do well to remember the central role constitutional courts have played in the particular form of constitutionalism that emerged in the aftermath of Europe’s experience with totalitarianism, and the laudable way in which the Polish Constitutional Court took up this task.

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24 Juni 2023

How to Rebuild Poland’s Rule of Law

Ahead of the next parliamentary elections, a core question is whether and if so how we can restore Poland’s rule of law. While the current effort is understandably focused on resurrecting the Constitutional Court and rebuilding an independent judiciary and prosecution, a purely institutional approach won’t be enough. Instead, it is imperative to mobilize and build lasting defiance on the ground.

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05 April 2023

In Jerusalem my Heart wanted to Scream out: “I am Polin, too” …

I went to Israel at a moment’s notice to share the lessons and cautionary tales of anti-constitutional capture in Poland and to explain the mechanics behind systemic and legalistic dismantling of the liberal foundations of the legal order. However, during my stay in Israel, I realized that as much the Israelis wanted to learn from me, they might as well teach Poles crucial lessons, not less these of civic engagement and mobilization.

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06 Januar 2023

Hostile Constitutional Interpretation

What to do with the façade institution that was once known as the Polish Constitutional Court in a way that would respect the Constitution? A recent and important proposal has argued that the judges who were legally elected by the current Parliament though they have supported the politicization of justice should enjoy the same right to retire as their legal predecessors. We have serious doubts as to the long-term desirability of such a solution. We need a theory that explains why also these lawfully elected judges should be let go as a result of their blatantly unconstitutional adjudication, and why the entire unconstitutional body should be extinguished, rather than simply be tinkered with here and there.

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02 Dezember 2022

The Autonomy of Sport and the Degeneration of an Ideal

The Football World Cup in Qatar is but the tip of the iceberg of the mounting problems for UEFA/FIFA. Scandals. Corruption. Cozying up to the autocrats and feeling right at home in their company. Arrogance bordering on ignorance coming from the very top of the governing bodies. The list of serious ailments that beset the system of football governance goes on. As a result, one might argue that not much of substance can be added to the topic. Yet, as will be argued here, there is still a constitutional and discursive potential to push forward the discourse on the broken system of football governance. There is important space for constitutionalists to fill by offering a voice of critical reflection, insights and by pointing out signposts for the future.

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30 Juni 2022

The Core of the European Public Space

Increasing the visibility of the constitutional fundamentals of the Union takes on existential importance in times of constitutional reckoning or, as some call it in more ominous terms, in times of “capitulation”. It is for that reason that art. 19(1) TEU should be amended to reflect the case law of the Court of Justice and thus to codify the core that binds the Member States to the discipline of the legal order.

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08 März 2022

“The Ever Closer Union among the Peoples of Europe” in Times of War

The war in Ukraine has brought a moment of the constitutional reckoning and the ultimate test of belonging for the Europeans. The ill-fated politics of appeasement and dialoguing with a criminal has come crushing down. Finally, Europe seems to take a more strategic and long-term view of its own politics at least when it comes to common foreign policy and defense. A true re-appraisal and reinvigoration of European ideals will however not be complete if the Union keeps looking the other way, dithering, procrastinating when its own axiological foundations are under attack by one of its own member states.

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16 August 2021

Poland and Europe at a Critical Juncture. What has happened? What is happening? What’s next?

The European institutions must be able to protect the European narrative in Poland because this is what most Poles expect of the EU. And with each passing day, the frustration and the discouragement set in because people see and read about the ECJ decisions and see nothing tangible happen. And then they ask the most dramatic of questions: What does Europe mean for us? This is a critical and dramatic juncture because Europe must not afford losing the support of Polish citizenry. Therefore, Brussels must stop considering the Polish case as a mere problem of bad governance of yet another recalcitrant member state. It would serve European leaders well to finally recognize the constitutional stakes involved and enforce all these in the name of Europe and its citizens.

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