Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 16 - 25 October 2017

Newsletter 16-25 October 2017


Members of the Parliament criticize the CHR

The Parliamentary Committee on Justice issued a negative opinion on the CHR’s draft budget for 2018. The ruling coalition MPs attacked the CHR for being focused “on pathological groups" [report]. On the following day, the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions refused to issue its opinion on the petition to dismiss the CHR due to his reply to a TVP reporter’s question as to whether the Holocaust was a solely German crime. The Committee stated it was not authorized to issue an opinion on that petition.

A summary of activities carried out by CHR Adam Bodnar, with examples in the alphabetical order, arranged as “the CHR’s alphabet”, is available here. Information on the CHR’s draft budget is available here.

The CHR’s regional meetings in the Śląskie Voivodeship

Lack of access to doctors, long waiting time for physical rehabilitation treatments, poor work of family courts, problems with court experts, road accidents, huge problems faced by families of persons with disabilities, impossibility to enforce child maintenance payments, and unjust solutions in the retirement pension system were the main subjects of the CHR’s regional meetings held in the Śląskie Voivodeship from 16 to 20 October. The Commissioner visited: Katowice, Gliwice, Sosnowiec, Dąbrowa Górnicza,  Jaworzno, Bielsko-Biała and Częstochowa.

Adam Bodnar’s report on the meetings is available here.

Adam Bodnar talked with a delegation of the Venice Commission about matters concerning the functioning of the amended Act on Public Prosecutors [more].

The Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that the regulations which allow so-called eviction to the street of persons living in uniformed service members’ apartments are inconsistent with the Constitution. The ruling is the CHR’s major success in the fight for strengthening the protection of the rights of tenants [more].

The CHR has submitted an intervention to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding doubts as to the quality of the Polish version of the General Data Protection Regulation [more].


The Commissioner for Human Rights was contacted by the Polish Football Association about numerous problems regarding employment of and appropriate pension schemes for professional football players. The CHR wrote a letter to the Minister of Sport and Tourism concerning the issue [more].


Polish courts will not verify the legal grounds for tree cutting in the Białowieża Forest, ruled the Supreme Administrative Court having considered the CHR’s application. The CHR’s intervention in the case was a part of his strategy to join cases of importance for citizens [more].

The Commissioner highlighted the problem of the use of transparent ballot boxes in the context of the guarantee of voting secrecy [more].

The Commissioner for Human Rights has received a reply from the Minister of Health stating that the lack of specific provisions in the parliamentary acts governing the profession of a pharmacist does not exclude the possibility for pharmacists to refer to the conscience clause [more].

The Commissioner has written to the Minister of Infrastructure and Construction requesting explanations concerning the practical application of the provisions of the amended Act on Housing Cooperatives [more].

The CHR: the so-called pre-election campaigns should be regulated [more].

The Ministry of Justice is looking into the issue of legal status of multi-apartment buildings owned by housing cooperatives and built on land whose legal status is not regulated. The Commissioner for Human Rights has been highlighting the issue for many years [more].


Violence and abuse against senior persons in the context of the currently drafted UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons has been the subject of a meeting of the Expert Committee on Senior Persons [more].

The solution is dialogue. It is the mother tongue of humankind. It changes an enemy into an opponent, and an opponent into a friend. Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar quoted the words of Archbishop Alfons Nossol while presenting to him the Sérgio Vieira de Mello Award in the ceremony held on 19 October  in Kraków [more].

In the CHR Office, the Commissioner for Human Rights met with representatives of resident doctors. Improvement of the health care system, particularly in the context of the constitutional right to health protection, has been sought by the CHR for a long time already [more]