Comments of the CHR regarding the Act amending the Law on the System of Ordinary Courts, the Act on the Supreme Court and certain other acts
In connection with the passing by the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, on 20 December 2019, of the Act amending the Law on the System of Ordinary Courts, the Act on the Supreme Court and certain other acts, and the submission thereof to the Senate of the Republic of Poland, the Commissioner for Human Rights sent the Speaker of the Senate of Republic of Poland comments regarding the Act, requested that they be taken into account during the legislative process. According to the Commissioner, the Act should be rejected in its entirety by the Polish Senate.
It violates the Constitution, is contrary to Poland's obligations to the European Union and questions Poland's legal participation in the EU and the Council of Europe. It introduces, among others unacceptable tools for interfering in judicial independence and freedom of expression and of association of judges. It will subject Polish courts and Polish judges to ultimate political control by the legislative and executive authorities and, most importantly, will drastically reduce the level of judicial protection of individuals’ rights.
The Commissioner for Human Rights’ assessment of the adopted Act is unambiguously negative as he considers the Act to violate the Constitution and the founding principles of the Polish legal order.