‘The perpetrators of the constitutional crisis will face consequences’ – Polish legal community warns left-liberal government in new written declaration

Poland’s ruling government may be enjoying a feeling of impunity at the moment, but members of Poland’s legal community are warning there will be consequences for illegal acts and violations of Poland’s constitution

AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
By John Cody
5 Min Read

Via the Ordo Iuris Institute

A meeting of representatives of the Polish legal community took place in the Collegium Intermarium’s auditorium, where the participants adopted a declaration of agreement on June 15. Dozens of judges, prosecutors, advocates, legal advisers, bailiffs, and notaries, as well as citizens involved with Poland’s legal system, discussed the destructive impact of the Polish government’s actions on the judiciary.

Signatories of the agreement are opposed to the current authorities’ disregard for the constitutional principles of the Republic of Poland through, among other things, questioning the independence of the courts and the independence of judges, as well as by taking over the prosecutors’ offices and the public media.

The meeting’s participants pledged to work together to rebuild the judiciary and respect for the rule of law. They also promised that they would make efforts to hold accountable those responsible for the current authorities’ unlawful actions.

The declaration was signed by Ordo Iuris, Sovereignty College, Collegium Intermarium, the Lawyers for Poland Association (Stowarzyszenie Prawnicy dla Polski), the All-Poland Association of Judges of the Republic of Poland (Ogólnopolskie Zrzeszenie Sędziowie RP), the Ad Vocem Association of Prosecutors (Stowarzyszenie Prokuratorów Ad Vocem), the Warsaw Seminar on the Axiology of Administration, and the Institute for Justice Foundation.

Attendees of the Collegium Intermarium Signed a joint declaration warning the ruling government of legal consequences.

The signatories point to the ongoing constitutional crisis in Poland, “which includes the questioning by the executive and legislative authorities of the principles of the independence of the courts and judges as well as those the rule of law, which constitute the foundations for the functioning of a democratic state based on law.”

The above-named organizations disagree with the actions taken by the government of Donald Tusk, which are striking at the very foundations of Poland’s political system. The declaration reads:

“We oppose the distinctions being drawn in terms of some judges’ status, the illegal takeover of the public media and the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, alongside lower-rank public prosecutors’ offices and the presidents of the courts, including the courts of appeal. We are also concerned about the projects being promoted by the government to politically remodel and limit the democratic legitimacy of the National Council of the Judiciary, the changes to the Supreme Court system, as well as the announced dispute over the Constitutional Tribunal’s jurisprudence, which enjoys the status of ‘the last word’ in light of the Constitution.”

“We declare that we shall oppose all acts of lawlessness, condemning the perpetrators and their deeds, and we will undertake to take all measures to call to account those who, while using the slogan of ‘restoring the rule of law,’ are violating the Constitution of the Republic of Poland as well as those legal customs inherent in the European cultural tradition,” they wrote.

The signatories are likewise inviting other legal milieus to cooperate with them.

“We appeal to those judges, advocates, prosecutors, legal advisers, and bailiffs, as well as those notaries who wish to serve a law-abiding homeland, where equality before the law, justice, and human dignity shall receive appropriate legal protection. There is a place for you among us,” the declaration reads.

The meeting’s participants are also opposed to the interpretation of the legal provisions that have been propagated by the current government, which runs contrary to the principles of the rule of law.

“It is time to express firm support for the objective constitutional order. It is time to categorically reject the legal relativism which is encapsulated in the Prime Minister’s memorable words about ‘the law as we understand it,’” noted the signatories.

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