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Statement on still not appointed constitutional judges

“We would like to express our deep concern about the President of the Republic of Poland suspending the conclusion of the procedure for the appointment of the newly elected judges of the Constitutional Tribunal”, reads a joint statement of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, INPRIS and the Polish Section of the International Commission of Jurists.

In early November, three judges of Poland’s constitutional court ended their terms of office. Despite the conclusion of the tenures of three judges and appointment of their successors, President has not taken the judicial affirmations from the new appointees. Likewise, he has not issued any official communication on this matter but has only made a comment in a media appearance, claiming that the appointment of the Constitutional Tribunal’s judges should have been left to the new Sejm.

“The coalition has been monitoring constitutional judges’ appointments from 2006. We have monitored the election of all the currently sitting Tribunal’s judges. From the beginning of the operation of the monitoring we have been emphasising that parliamentarian procedures give a very limited opportunity for a debate on proposed candidates. On many occasions, we have raised concerns over the extensively short appointment process of the Constitutional Tribunal judges”, the statement reads. In September 2015, the coalition issued another statement which discussed, among other things, the absence of relevant information about the candidates (more information is available here).

Members of the Helsinki Committee in Poland have also issued their own statement on the unappointed judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. “The Helsinki Committee in Poland expresses its gravest concern over the situation in which law is used instrumentally in the everyday political games and the proper operation of an institution tasked with guarding the law (…) is disrupted by manipulations concerning its composition”, reads the statement.

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