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

von Maximilian Steinbeis

The following statement has been issued by four former presidents of the Constitutional Court of Poland. It has been published widely in Polish media, here is a translation:

When the new Acts on the Constitutional Tribunal enter into force, the period of activity of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland will come to an end. It will be the end of activity by which a system of constitutionality control guaranteed the efficient defence of the rule of law and a control which systematically strengthened the guarantee of our fundamental rights.

We note with the highest degree of concern and with the highest care for the future of democratic system of the Republic, that the ongoing actions aimed at undermining the role of the Constitutional Tribunal, at lowering its authority in the eyes of society and at limiting or indeed paralysing its functioning – have resulted in a dramatic situation where the most fundamental mechanism for the protection of the rule of law will be annihilated.This will happen first and foremost as by virtue of the new Acts, persons who do not possess a judicial mandate to perform judicial functions will be allowed to hear cases in the Constitutional Tribunal. Their appointment, as it results from the Tribunal’s jurisprudence, occurred in violation of the Constitution. At the same time, the judges who were constitutionally appointed, and who have remained outside the composition of the Tribunal, will not be able to assume their office as they have not been invited by the President of the Republic to take the oath of office ...

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