University of Sydney

Posts by authors affiliated with University of Sydney

14 August 2022

Extinguishing the Court

The three quasi-judges in the Constitutional Tribunal and their participation in its adjudication are like a spoonful of tar in a barrel of honey: they contaminate the whole of the Tribunal. That is why the whole of the Constitutional Tribunal should be replaced in the event of a electoral victory of the democratic opposition in 2023.

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06 Juni 2022

The European Commission Cedes its Crucial Leverage vis-à-vis the Rule of Law in Poland

The worst thing about the European Commission’s decision of 1 June 2022 to approve Poland’s EUR 36 billion national recovery plan, despite this country’s very meek (to put it mildly) assurances about improvements to its rule-of-law situation, is not even its substance, bad though that is. Worse still is the sequencing.

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30 November 2021

A Blatant Attack on Free Media

In a recent and shocking judgment of the first instance, a criminal court in Warsaw has found the Polish journalist Ewa Siedlecka guilty of criminal libel (defamation) for commenting on the organized campaign  of hatred against independent Polish judges. This account deeply resonates with my own personal experience. Toutes proportions gardeés, I should add, since Ms Siedlecka has done immeasurably more for the rule of law in Poland than I did, and has run much higher risks – and incurred higher personal costs.

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11 August 2021

The Disciplinary Chamber May Go – but the Rotten System will Stay

The notorious Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court, unlawful under EU standards according to the European Court of Justice, will be abolished. The Disciplinary Chamber is perhaps the most abhorrent part of the system, but it is not the entire system. Systemic and ongoing persecution and harassment of independent judges may easily continue, and most probably will. No one should be duped by such a pars-pro-toto solution because, unless and until a broader change is introduced, it will remain a purely PR exercise, meant to reassure Brussels that the Recovery money should now be disbursed to Poland.

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