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Call for Sejm subcommittee to deal with enforcement of ECtHR judgments

In February 2014 the Polish Sejm, as one of the first parliaments in Europe, appointed a permanent subcommittee for the enforcement of the European Court of Human Rights’ judgments by Poland.

The subcommittee convened in order to discuss the status of implementation of the ECtHR judgments by individual ministries and debated about the annual Council of Ministers’ report on how effectively the judgments are enforced by Poland.

The establishment of the subcommittee has been widely approved by both domestic institutions and the Council of Europe, which has been long calling for an increased involvement of national parliaments in the enforcement process. The significance of the parliamentary participation on the monitoring of implementation of the ECtHR judgments has been emphasised by, among others, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – for instance in the report of Marie-Louise Bemelmans-Videc entitled “Guaranteeing the authority and effectiveness of the European Convention on Human Rights”, which was adopted on 4 November 2011. As the report suggests, one of the possible systemic solutions is the introduction of regular parliamentary control over the executive’s work done with regard to the implementation of judgments.

The HFHR asked the Chairs of the Committee for Justice and Human Rights and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Sejm for a re-appointment of a subcommittee for the enforcement of judgments of the ECtHR. Such a subcommittee will constitute a convenient forum for a dialogue between parliamentarians, the government and non-governmental organisations.

What is more, at the end of January 2016 Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski approached the Speaker of the Sejm and brought to his attention the positive experiences related to the functioning of a subcommittee for the enforcement of the ECtHR judgments in the Sejm.

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