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Poland: Nils Muižnieks urges parliament to reject law changes threatening judicial independence

In a letter addressed to the Speaker of Sejm of Poland published today, Nils Muižnieks, calls on the Polish Parliament to reject legal amendments which he fears would “encroach upon the independence of the judiciary.”

The Commissioner for Human Rights is worried by changes to the Act on the National Council for the Judiciary. He argues that by giving parliament the authority to select the judges who sit on the National Council for the Judiciary, the amendments would provide the executive and legislative powers with a decisive role in the appointment of judges in Poland.

Muižnieks writes: “In order to preserve the principles of the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, the selection of members of the judiciary should be a decision process wholly independent of the government, so as to stave off the risk of any undue political influence.

“By entrusting the legislature with the task of appointing members to the National Council for the Judiciary and by affording the legislative and executive branches the power to exercise decisive control over the selection of judges and trainee-judges, the proposed amendments infringe on the independence of a body which is the constitutional guarantor of judicial independence in Poland.”

Read the letter

The Council of Europe and Poland

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