Statement regarding presidential proposals over judicial reforms

When the Polish President Andrzej Duda sharply criticised the acts, which he later vetoed, we hoped that the presidential proposal won’t include such scandalous solutions that would make the judicial system dependent on political influences.
Today it appeared that Andrzej Duda would like to go even further and introduce changes to the Constitution, which would sanction the influence of politicians on independent courts.
It would change the state’s political system: the separation of powers is the foundation for the state of law. We expect from the President of the Republic of Poland that he observes the Constitution as the highest legal act. We don’t agree that politicians should be able to influence the independence of the judicial system: neither the politicians of the Law and Justice (PiS) party, nor of any other political option in the future.
As regards the proposals concerning the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), they are not acceptable either.
We cannot allow the situation where electing of the KRS members in the so called “judges’ part” would take place in the way of a political choice. KRS is an institution that is a guardian of independence of the judiciary from the executive and legislative authorities. To allow the election of its members by politicians is unacceptable.
The legislative authority must not have any influence on the organs of the judiciary!
President Andrzej Duda is also proposing the decision who of the judges would retire, would be given to the President. Such situation is not acceptable. This is another instrument of political pressure on the judges of the Supreme Court, and in this way on the whole system of justice.
The proposed changes are in these aspects not acceptable.

The Board of the Committee for the Defence of Democracy.

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