The Parliament has just completed work on a new law on the Constitutional Tribunal. Contrary to previous announcements given by parliamentary majority, it does not end the crisis over the Constitutional Tribunal. It rather gives the executive the control over the Constitutional Tribunal , which is a clear violation of the principle of separation of powers contained in Article 10 paragraph 1 of the Constitution of Poland and threatens the rule of law.
The provisions of the Act passed, contrary to the previous rulings of the Constitutional Tribunal and the recommendations of the Venice Commission, require the President of the Constitutional Court to allow three judges elected in December 2015 to places previously been properly planted. The law does not allow either to the announcement of the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of March 9th 2016.
The most curious record of the Act is the solution, which violates the principle of making the Tribunal's decisions by majority vote. This regulation allows a few judges of the Tribunal to block the judgment despite the support of a specific decision by a majority of the judges of the Court.
The changes relating to the order of the recognition of the cases, rules of election of the President of the Constitutional Tribunal and disciplinary responsibility of judges clearly violate the independence of the constitutional court.
The new law deprives the Constitutional Tribunal the possibility to exercise effective control over the activities of the constitutional legislative authority. This is a systemic threat to the rule of law and thus the rights of citizens guaranteed by the provisions of the Constitution.
Signed by the Boards of:
The Polish Judges Association “IUSTITIA” The Association of the Judges Themis
The Association of the Family Judges in Poland The Association of the Family Judges Pro Familia