Godło RP

Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 25-30 June 2018

MAIN MATTERS

On 4 July, the term of office of the First President of the Supreme Court will be interrupted, and approximately 40 percent of the Supreme Court judges will become retired against their intention. In the opinion of the CHR, the Supreme Court will cease to be an independent body that fully guarantees the protection of civil rights and freedoms. The Supreme Court will now include also two newly organized Divisions: the one responsible for disciplinary cases, and the one responsible e.g. for taking decisions concerning the validity of elections. The chambers will be composed of new judges appointed by the new National Council of the Judiciary and by the President. According to Adam Bodnar, this may pose a threat to the process of the elections that are to be held next year. Link to the CHR’s statement on the issue: http://www.rp.pl/RZECZoPOLITYCE/180709922-Adam-Bodnar---Gwarant-naszych-wolnosci-przestanie-byc-niezalezny.html

The CHR’s publication entitled Our rights and containing the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU was the source material for the debate held at the CHR Office. The discussion focused on whether the use of the ECHR and the Charter can help better protect the rights and freedoms of individuals. It was pointed out that Polish courts rarely refer to the Charter. (more)

On 25 June 2018, the UN Human Rights Council was considering the report of the UN Special Rapporteur Diego Garcia-Sayan, concerning the threat to the Polish judiciary system, caused by the interference of the legislative and executive powers. Among the participants of the debate was Hanna Machińska, Ph. D., Polish Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights. (more)

Poland does not meet international anti-corruption standards after the implementation of the legislative changes that have given representatives of the legislative and executive powers greater possibilities concerning oversight of judges’ professional paths, concluded the 22 meeting of the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) which is an anti-corruption agency of the Council of Europe (more)

The European Commission has called for the strengthening of national equal treatment bodies, including through the allocation of appropriate funding. In Poland, the equal treatment body is the Commissioner for Human Rights. (more)

The Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture called for reflecting on the situation of people who have experienced torture; the call was made on 26 June i.e. the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. (more)

THE COMMISSIONER ON CITIZENS’ ISSUES

The Commissioner seeks amendment of the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which discriminate persons who are mentally ill. According to the provision, if a court finds that a person accused of a crime is not guilty, the court’s procedure is to declare the person not guilty. Yet, when the accused person is mentally ill, the court’s procedure is only to discontinue the case. (more)

The CHR has sent to the Minister of Culture an inquiry concerning the announced amendment as a result of which citizens whose real property gets listed in a municipal register of historic buildings are to be notified of their property’s listing therein. The Commissioner has been fighting for the rights of owners of such buildings for years. (more)

People arrested by the police get their first meal after more than hours since the time of their detention. No beverages are provided to them, either. The Commissioner has appealed to the Prime Minister for changing the relevant legislation. (more)

The Commissioner has sent to the Minister of the Environment a motion for improving the support measures taken in the field of replacement of central heating boilers. There are many complains by citizens with regard to the forms of subsidies allocated for the replacement of old boilers with environmentally friendly ones. (more)

LEGISLATION

Two provisions of the Regulation of the Minister of Justice on the remuneration of court experts are not consistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, has adjudicated the Constitutional Tribunal. The CHR had joined the constitutional complaint concerning the matter. (more)

THE CHRONICLE

The protection of democracy in EU member states should not be left only to the EU institutions. Politicians and societies of all the member states should develop the feeling that the collapse of democracy in one of the countries is a problem for the others. These are the conclusions of the report entitled Protection of democracy in the EU, which was presented at the CHR Office. (more)

Defects of local legislation, indicated in the complaints submitted by the CHR to administrative courts was the subject of Adam Bodnar’s speech delivered at the 25th Congress of Universities’ Departments of Administrative Law and Administrative Procedure. (more)

The rights of minor patients at hospitals were the subject of the fifth meeting of the CHR Office’s Committee on Health. (more)

The Social Council operating at the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights dissented with Mariusz Muszyński’s statements contained in his so-called dissenting opinions on the judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal, which concerned discontinuance of the Tribunal’s proceedings in three cases. (more)