Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 29 November - 6 December 2016

Newsletter 29 November – 6 December 2016


The opinion of the Commissioner for Human Rights on the amendment to the Law on Assemblies

The Polish Parliament is working on the private members’ bill on the Law on Assemblies. Such a procedure of amending the law limits the process of public consultations, stated the CHR in his opinion expressed in the course of the works: - The bill should not be adopted as the solutions provided for in it are inconsistent with the Constitution and the international standards relating to the freedom of assembly, concluded the CHR in his opinion submitted to Sejm Speaker Marek Kuchciński.

The CHR’s opinion thoroughly examines the content of the bill, its consequences for the citizens and its provisions as compared to the international standards adopted by Poland.

The Commissioner pointed e.g. at unequal treatment of various assembly organizers, which may result in a hierarchical approach to them [more].

Criticism of the proposed amendment has also been expressed by the Supreme Court [more].

Adam Bodnar met with the attacked doctoral student from Nigeria

- One may have the impression that sometimes things happen in silence in Poland, and there is no discussion about racist attacks. Representatives of the public institutions responsible for safety and security relate to acts of hooliganism only. I disagree with their approach and I am pleased there are other institutions which share my opinion. It is good that the attack was condemned by the authorities of the University of Warsaw and by Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, said Adam Bodnar in a meeting with the Nigerian citizen, a PhD student at the University of Warsaw, who had been attacked in a street in Warsaw [more].

The CHR intervenes in the case of information materials attacking NGOs

On the public television channels, several news items were broadcast which suggested irregularities in the funding of non-governmental organizations. The information also suggested that holders or former holders of public positions, including the Constitutional Tribunal’s retired judges, were involved in the irregularities, while some basic information on the legal principles of work of NGOs was omitted. The CHR has addressed a letter on the issue to the Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council [more].


Krzysztof Kurowski from the CHR Office is a semi-finalist of the competition "The Man Without Barriers"

Dr Krzysztof Kurowski who has been working for the CHR Office since 2012 is among the twenty semi-finalists of the competition "The Man Without Barriers". Dr Kurowski is the first lawyer with severe disability to have appeared before the Constitutional Tribunal as an attorney. He has won a case of fundamental importance for incapacitated persons and has proven that persons with disabilities can play key roles in the public life [more].

The Expert Committee on Persons with Disabilities

The right to family life, the support to families of disabled persons, and disabled persons’ access to health care were the main subjects of the last meeting of the Expert Committee on Persons with Disabilities [more].

How to support mentally ill persons?

Methods of supporting mentally ill persons in the process of their recovery were discussed in a meeting of the Board of Związek Powiatów Polskich [the Association of Polish Counties]. In his regional meetings, the CHR comes across numerous positive local initiatives [more].


Application to the Constitutional Tribunal with regard to public-law debt enforcement through actio Pauliana [more].

The CHR joins the complaint with regard to consistency with the Constitution of the regulations expanding the borders of Opole

After numerous discussions with stakeholders, two on-site visits and a meeting with experts, the CHR has concluded that only the Constitutional Tribunal’s judgement can solve the year-long heated dispute concerning the expansion of the borders of the city of Opole [more].

Thanks to the CHR’s intervention, a discussion on the reduction of area payments is going on in the EU [more].

The CHR defends the rights of customs officers and requests Poland’s President to refer the regulations on the National Fiscal Administration to the Constitutional Tribunal [more].

No right of recourse to a court for foreigners to whom a visa has been refused by the consul? The Minister forwards a reply to the CHR [more].

The CHR experts advise the Minister for Family, Labour and Social Policy on methods of effective examination of the phenomenon of homelessness [more].

The Ministry of the Interior and Administration on the establishment, within the Polish law system, of the office of the special plenipotentiary for foreigners [more].


Mikhail Khodorkovsky receives the "Knight of Freedom" award

- Today's ceremony is of special importance to me. For the first time ever, the award of the Knight of Freedom does not go to a president, a minister, a historical hero or a famous writer, but to a prisoner of conscience, said Adam Bodnar in the laudation to Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

On 3 December, the Russian dissident and founder of the Open Russia Foundation received the "Knight of Freedom" award from the Casimir Pułaski Foundation. As emphasized by Zbigniew Pisarski, President of the Pułaski Foundation, Khodorkovsky received the award for his uncompromising efforts to establish the rule of law, to build civil society and to promote European values in the Russian society [more].

Keeping the memory of professor Bartoszewski

"It’s worth it to be decent" was the slogan of the ceremony of giving the name of Władysław Bartoszewski to a small square at Ogrodowa street in Warsaw. Commissioner Adam Bodnar was among Warsaw residents taking part in the ceremony [more].

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance has supported the CHR budget reduction in relation to the proposed budget [more].

The fourth regional debate on the National Preventive Mechanism has been held in Olsztyn [more].

The CHR and NGOs have discussed the issue of access to public information [more].

The CHR and the Ovum Association from Gdynia have talked about cooperation with local NGOs [more].

Deputy CHR Dr Sylwia Spurek took part in the final gala of the VII edition of the "White Ribbon Award" [more].