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Letter from the International Lawyers’ Commission to the President

International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), its Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers (CIJL) and the sitting and former judges who are Commissioners and Honorary Members of the ICJ, has sent an open letter to the President of Poland, condemning the forced retirement of 27 out of 72 judges of Polish Supreme Court, including the Court’s President Małgorzata Gersdorf.

The signatories of the open letter urge the President to act immediately to restore the independence of the judiciary by reinstating those judges in office.

The ICJ is “gravely concerned” that the effective dismissal of one third of the Supreme Court judges, together with the broad discretion given to the President in respect of exempting judges from the retirement requirement, has taken place in contravention of standards of international human rights law, including the right to a fair hearing, and “is contrary to basic principles of the rule of law”.

The open letter, in Polish, can be read here.

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