As former Commissioners for Human Rights we express our opposition to the instrumental treatment of human rights in the national political struggle. We consider disturbing and reprehensible the attempts made to discredit the work and the person of Adam Bodnar, 7th term Commissioner for Human Rights, made by means of a dissenting opinion of the Constitutional Tribunal, a measure used improperly and in bad faith, unprofessionally and in violation of good practice.
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.
Firstly, only specialists know what “a resolution of 7 judges” is. Secondly, only specialists understand its legal significance and know how it differs from a court’s ordinary ruling or judgment.
The regulations on cyclical assemblies should be removed from the Polish legislation as they seriously limit the constitutional freedom of assembly, believes the Commissioner for Human Rights. This is his opinion regarding the draft bill amending the Act on Assemblies, submitted by the PO senators.
The Commissioner withdrew from the Constitutional Tribunal his motion regarding the Act of 10 June 2017 on Counter-Terrorism Measures. As the reason, he indicated the change of the formerly determined composition of the Constitutional Tribunal’s adjudicating panel and the fact that the current panel includes three persons not entitled to adjudicate in the Tribunal.
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.
European politicians must look beyond the next month or year. Everything possible must be done in order to save the independence of Poland’s Supreme Court.
- Without independent courts, there can be no appropriate protection of civil rights and freedoms in Poland, said CHR Adam Bodnar after his meeting with Frans Timmermans. The Commissioner presented his opinion on the reform of the Polish judiciary system to the First Vice-President of the European Commission and concluded that it poses a risk to the independence of the judiciary and the protection of civil rights and freedoms.
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 Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland plays the role of both the national human rights institution (NHRI) and the equality body. It works extensively on the issues of equal treatment, anti-discrimination, and combating all kind of violence also against older persons.
It is necessary to change the legislation and practice concerning people with mental or intellectual disabilities who take part in criminal proceedings. Otherwise, the rights of such persons, their human rights, will be seriously endangered in our country - said Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar while presenting a report on a two-year survey conducted by the CHR Office experts. In that period they examined over 100 cases of persons with a mental illness or intellectual disability.
The Congress, which was held in December 2017, gathered over 1500 participants in 37 panels co-organized by non-governmental institutions.
Specific Congress recommendations relate to education and civic empowerment, the rights of citizens in their contacts with the judicial system, healthcare, work, home and the position of Poland in Europe.