13 July 2017

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

Last November, the former presidents of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal issued a joint statement to protest against the subjugation of the Tribunal. Now, as the PiS government is about to effectively bring the entire judiciary under their control, they speak up again:

Without an independent administration of justice no State under the rule of law can exist. The draft statutes on the functioning of the ordinary courts the National Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court, which modify de facto the Constitution, will eventually abolish the independence and autonomy of the Polish judiciary from political institutions.

The adoption of these statutes, which ensure a decisive and uncontrolled influence of one or two politicians on the appointment of court presidents, the composition of the National Council of the Judiciary, the dissolution of the current and establishment of a “new” Supreme Court – the most important adjudicating body of our State – not only makes impossible any control of the legality of the actions taken by other authorities, but also impedes the effective protection of the citizens’ rights and freedoms.

The Minister of Justice’s discretionary power to appoint court presidents confers on the government the power of permanent tampering with judicial independence by establishing a corps of politically obedient judges.

The disablement of the Constitutional Court has made an effective constitutional review of statutes and their application impossible and leads to arbitrary and unconstitutional legal solutions.

We call upon the members of Parliament, Senators and the President not to allow the inclusion in our legal order of statutes which may permanently destroy the Republic’s position of a State under the rule of law.

Andrzej Rzepliński

Marek Safjan

Jerzy Stępień

Bohdan Zdziennicki

Andrzej Zoll

SUGGESTED CITATION  Steinbeis, Maximilian: Statement by the former presidents of the Constitutional Tribunal: Andrzej Rzepliński, Marek Safjan, Jerzy Stępień, Bohdan Zdziennicki and Andrzej Zoll, VerfBlog, 2017/7/13, https://verfassungsblog.de/statement-by-the-former-presidents-of-the-constitutional-tribunal-andrzej-rzeplinski-marek-safjan-jerzy-stepien-bohdan-zdziennicki-and-andrzej-zoll/, DOI: 10.17176/20170713-175409.

One Comment

  1. Catherine Mon 17 Jul 2017 at 14:51 - Reply

    Thank you for the translation

Leave A Comment


1. We welcome your comments but you do so as our guest. Please note that we will exercise our property rights to make sure that Verfassungsblog remains a safe and attractive place for everyone. Your comment will not appear immediately but will be moderated by us. Just as with posts, we make a choice. That means not all submitted comments will be published.

2. We expect comments to be matter-of-fact, on-topic and free of sarcasm, innuendo and ad personam arguments.

3. Racist, sexist and otherwise discriminatory comments will not be published.

4. Comments under pseudonym are allowed but a valid email address is obligatory. The use of more than one pseudonym is not allowed.

Explore posts related to this:
Polish Supreme Court, Rule of Law, judicial independence

Other posts about this region: