Poland: Nils Muižnieks concerned by new constitutional tribunal bill

Human rights commissioner Nils Muižnieks, has expressed concern at the Polish Sejm’s adoption of a bill on the constitutional tribunal.

“I am very concerned at the adoption by the Polish Sejm of a bill on the Constitutional Tribunal yesterday because it poses a serious threat to the rule of law” he said.

“In my recent report on Poland, I expressed concern at the current paralysis of the Constitutional Tribunal because of its negative impact on the protection of human rights and I called on the Polish authorities to urgently find a way out of the present deadlock.

“Like the Venice Commission, I stressed that the rule of law required that any such solution be based on respect and full implementation of the judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal.”

The Commissioner for Human Rights added: “The bill adopted by the Sejm yesterday goes in the opposite direction.

For this serious reason, I call on the Senate to prevent a bad bill from becoming law and ensure that the rule of law in Poland is fully respected.”

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Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland responded to the Polish parliamentary action by asking the Council of Europe’s constitution experts to examine the legislation.

He said: “The draft Act on the Constitutional Tribunal was adopted yesterday at its second reading in the lower Chamber of the Polish Parliament (Sejm). I will ask the Venice Commission to rapidly examine whether this Act follows its Opinion provided in March 2016.

“I would urge the Senate, and the Sejm at its final reading, to take this assessment into consideration.”

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