Warsaw, 30th August 2017
To The President of the Republic of Poland
Mr Andrzej Duda
Dear President Duda (Dear Mr President),
Poland is our Home, our homeland of whom we want to be proud and for whom we are all responsible. In holding the office of The President of The Republic of Poland, you must certainly feel the immense responsibility weighing on you. The political system of our country is set out in the acts of the Constitution which rules on the separation and balance of three powers: legislative, executive and judicial. The Constitution also rules on the participation of society in administration of the judicial power.
Complete exclusion of the courts of law from the influence of any ruling party is the prerequisite to maintaining freedom, which generations of Poles were fighting for. This is why guarantee of the independence of the courts of law from the other powers was one of the demands of Solidarity. At the same time, the courts must be efficient, transparent, modern and open to public participation.
Neglect of these aspects of the judiciary over the last 20 years, is the reason for the crisis we now have.
The courts are for the people, not for the politicians.
We trust that continued work on legislative proposals for the judiciary, will lead to broader solutions which on the one hand, will fully respect Constitutional requirements for the independence of the judiciary from the politicians and on the other, will allow for more public control of the judiciary. We emphasize – public control, not political control. The Constitution prohibits political control of the courts of law. The Constitution recommends public control and such is supported by the judges and the lawyers. This view has already been expressed in the proposals by the members of the judiciary for the legislative changes and include for example, public hearing of the candidates for the National Council of the Judiciary, cyclical reports to the local communities about the work and the way that the courts function.
The changes to the judicial system must not be limited to giving the power to one or the other politician, which to great extent, is what the new law on the system of the common courts is about. The courts are the common good of all citizens and everyone is guaranteed the right to the process in the court of law.
For these words to be more than the writing on the paper, we rely on the proposed reform to concern:
1) Procedures and organisation of the courts to ensure efficiency and prompt resolution of simple litigations;
2) A system of ruling to enable sentencing, made in the name of The Republic of Poland, to be promptly executed and with guaranteed rights of the most unprivileged;
3) Public participation in both the ruling and administration of the courts, so that the judges are able to conduct dialogue with local communities and all elements of the functioning of the courts are fully transparent and accessible by the local communities, thus guaranteeing the independence of the courts
Such important changes should not be happening in secret, they should not ignore the voices of non-government organisations , should not be but announcements to the public. The political profundity of these changes imposes social debate, also including experts and for such debate; open to all Poles, devoid of political labels and conducted in the spirit of unity and responsibility, we ask you Sir. We declare active involvement of citizen’s organisations and the self-governments of legal associations in this debate and we ask you to hear our voice
Warsaw, 30th August 2017