In this policy brief, human rights and criminal lawyer Mikołaj Pietrzak argues that Poland's ruling party is implementing a programme of deep constitutional, social, and political change, including limitations on the role of the judiciary, which poses a threat to the constitutionally enshrined separation of powers in the fledgling democracy.
A former Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the Polish Bar Council, the author contends that the Law and Justice Party, through a series of statutes relating to the functioning of the Constitutional Court and the process of appointing new judges, has managed to undermine the position and legal stability of the Court.
Moreover, in its refusal to publish crucial judgments of the Constitutional Court (without legal authority to do so), the government has raised the threat of dualism in the Polish legal system, which in turn presents a serious threat to the protection of rights and freedoms of Polish citizens.
The policy brief details the political and legal changes occurring in Poland in recent years, and suggests that, despite resistance from within the judicial system and popular protests, the continued independence of the judiciary may only be secured through the combined efforts of internal and international actors.
There is a general trend among recent populist movements to implement measures that interfere with the independence and proper functioning of the judiciary. These movements seek to frame the courts in opposition to the popular will, yet the truth is more complicated than the populists would have us believe.
In this policy brief, Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser takes a comparative approach to challenge the conventional wisdom that populism, by virtue of its ambivalent relationship with constitutionalism, represents a threat to democracy.
This policy brief, published in conjunction with the University of Warwick Politics of Papua Project, presents 14 recommendations for the United Kingdom and the international community to help bring an end to the political and constitutional conflict in the West Papua Region of Indonesia.
This paper analyses the different senses in which the legislature’s relationship to the constitution can be understood. While broader recognition of the role that legislatures can play in relation to constitutions is valuable, there are other matters of concern relating to the realities of legislatures, in relation to representation, accountability, and deliberation, which merit greater consideration in constitutional literature.