A Citizens‘ Attempt to Solve the Polish Constitutional Crisis

Responding to severe criticism, from inside and outside of Poland, concerning the disempowerment of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal (see, for example here, here and here on this blog), the governing „Law and Justice“ Party (PiS) is currently working on a new law on the Constitutional Tribunal. Expecting that PiS does not intend to use this new law to solve the severe constitutional crisis that the party has created, Polish civil society groups have drafted an alternative bill regarding the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal. The bill was launched as a popular initiative and received the prescribed number of supporting signatures. On June 9th 2016, a Board Member of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy (KOD), Jarosław Marciniak, presented the bill before the Sejm – the lower house of Polish Parliament. It was included – on short notice – in the parliamentary agenda along with the bill proposed by PiS, and another one proposed by the Polish People’ Party (PSL). Rarely, if ever, have we seen an Act on the Constitutional Court being proposed by popular initiative. What follows is the text of the speech presenting both the initiative and the bill itself, in order to document an extraordinary initiative of civic engagement in constitutional politics. Not surprisingly, PiS did not adopt or even consider the popular initiative’s bill. (Thanks to Bartosz Marciniak for providing the text and information on the matter).

Honorable Marshal, Honorable members of the House!

As a Polish citizen, standing in this distinguished place, I wonder, what has happened? What has happened that Poles need to defend the Constitutional Tribunal? To defend the Constitutional Tribunal from their own representatives? The representatives who when taking up their honorable office pledged – often invoking God – to observe and abide by the Constitution ...

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KOD in Parliement - Justification of the draft law on the Constitutional Court

On Thursday, KOD's representative Jaroslaw Marciniak presented in the Parliament our civic initiative - a draft law on the Constitutional Court.

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