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Strasbourg judgment is not the end. HFHR publishes report on implementation of judgments against Poland

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has prepared a report on Poland’s implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

The Foundation appreciated the efforts taken by Polish authorities over the years in order to disseminate and implement the standards developed by the Council of Europe. However, there are still many decisions that have not been performed by the Polish Government; there is also much to do in the area of legislation.

Parliamentary support needed

The Foundation also referred to institutional problems, noting that the full implementation of ECtHR judgments is somewhat hindered due to the current Parliament’s failure to appoint a Permanent Subcommittee for the Implementation of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Such a subcommittee was established by the previous Parliament.  “The establishment of the subcommittee in 2014 was widely approved by 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 Parliament’s participation in the monitoring of the implementation of ECtHR judgments has emphasised, on many occasions, by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe”, Dominika Bychawska-Siniarska, Member of the HFHR’s Board, points out.

Recurring violations

In the report, the Foundation analysed the implementation of judgments in key thematic areas in which violations generally continue to appear, such as placements at nursing homes, high-risk prisoner status, problems concerning pre-trial detention or the excessive length of proceedings”, notes Katarzyna Wiśniewska, a lawyer working for the HFHR. In particular, the document discusses the implementation of judgments in cases relating to the freedom of speech or the absence of a legislative review of the Juvenile Justice Act. A particular analytical focus was also put on the national authorities’ compliance with the recommendations issued in the judgments on CIA secret prisons.

Unilateral declarations

The report also emphasised that many cases were resolved with the Government’s unilateral declaration, which limits the ability of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers to supervise the implementation of such declarations and monitor their actual influence on domestic practices. “Here, an institutional change is needed in procedures of the Committee of Ministers”, the Foundation noted.

The report may be accessed here.

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