The Second Congress on Human Rights was held in Warsaw on 14-15 December 2018. It included 43 sessions, and was attended by 200 panellists and about 1500 participants from across the country, who discussed important issues regarding the protection of human rights and civil liberties in Poland.
Dr. Adam Bodnar delivered a lecture on various developments in Poland’s constitutional situation, and their potential implications for the country's relation with the European Union. The lecture was a part of the seminar organized by Sieps – Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies.
The CHR wrote a letter to the chairman of the National Electoral Commission in support of citizens who could not vote on 21 October. He noted that local offices were not prepared for such a large number of incoming online applications for entry in the electoral registers, and this undermined the confidence in the state governed by law.
The Supreme Court is usually invisible to citizens. On daily basis, an average citizen underestimates the Supreme Court’s important role in the development of the legislative system. Yet, let us look at the Supreme Court’s recent resolution (of 20 June 2018) concerning mortgage loans denominated in Swiss francs.
Here in Poland, we are headed into a period of darkness when it comes to legal guarantees, the role of the constitution and the sanctity of EU treaties. Hope is slowly vanishing. We can only hope that — being deprived of institutional guarantees of independence — individual judges will be strong enough to safeguard their own independence in their judicial decision-making.
The Commissioner for Human Rights and German Institute for Human Rights organized the joint workshop on protection of human rights of older persons which will take place on 7th March, in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Warsaw.
The Congress, organized by the Commissioner for Human Rights to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the institution of independent ombudsman in Poland, was held on 8-9 December in Warsaw. It consisted of 36 panels on key topics relating to human rights.
In the Czech city of Brno, an annual V4 meeting was held of ombudspersons from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. In the adopted declaration "Human Rights for Everyone", the Visegrad Group ombudspersons emphasized their common goals and values, as well as the significance of the institution of ombudsman maintaining independence of the authorities.
The situation with the Supreme Court is a bit as if here, at the Przystanek Woodstock, Jurek Owsiak tried to determine what should be happening at the festival, said Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar while speaking with judge Jarosław Gwizdak during the “Academy of Truly Fine Arts” at the 23rd edition of the Przystanek Woodstock festival held in Kostrzyń nad Odrą.
„I believe that the recently generated great energy of the citizens may also be used to control staffing decisions in the judiciary sector at every level: the appointments of judges, court presidents, heads of court departments, spokespersons, etc. What should be ensured is the transparency of procedures, assessment of qualifications of candidates, explanations of unclear decision.
The system of free legal aid, introduced in early 2016, already requires changes. It turned out that in practice, the aid was used only by a low number of people. Often, persons in need of such aid were not eligible for it as they did not meet the criteria set out in the relevant Act of Parliament.
The tone of many public statements in our country has reached the level of political and cultural war. Some words and expressions are used which violate human dignity and divide citizens into different categories.
On 28 April 1947, the large scale action of forced resettlement of Ukrainians and Lemkos, Polish citizens, from the south-eastern provinces of Poland to the north-west region of the country started. In three months, over 140,000 persons were resettled. Some of them were transported to the Central Labour Camp in Jaworzno, in which 160 persons died a result of hunger, illnesses and torture.