Legal Expert Team in its position paper on the amendment of the Constitutional Tribunal Law

2016-03-03

"This is an attempt to change the constitutional system in Poland that is defined in the Polish constitution and the process of drafting Amendments stands in contradiction to due process of law making", says the Stefan Batory Foundation's Legal Expert Team in its position paper on the amendment of the Constitutional Tribunal Law.

In its upcoming session, the Constitutional Tribunal will assess the constitutionality of the Law Amending the Constitutional Tribunal Law (Ref. K 47/15) and the Legal Expert Team of the Stefan Batory Foundation has released its position paper regarding the Amendment of the Constitutional Tribunal Law.

Legal experts have described the duration of the parliamentary process of drafting and adopting the Amendment as blatantly short (only three days). Amendments to the Constitutional Tribunal Law submitted in the process considerably extended beyond the original scope of the amendment. One particular deviation from good legislative practice and legal theory is the lack of vactio legis (extra time allowed to come to compliance with a new piece of legislation that is considered essential under the Polish Constitution). However, it is the main body of the amended legislation that is deemed to be an attempt at changing the political system of the Republic of Poland as defined in the country's Constitution.

Specific violations of the Polish Constitution resulting from the Amendment are detailed in the legal review [PDF 334KB] by Team member Professor Marcin Matczak. The review has been submitted by the Foundation as a 'friend of the court' (amicus curiae).

The Legal Expert Team [PDF 134 KB] was established in December 2015 in the framework of the Stefan Batory Foundation's Responsible State programme. The Team's mission is to review and evaluate legislation proposed by government and parliament in the area of political system and the positioning of public and civic institutions in the legal framework. Members of the Team monitor draft legislation, assess its constitutionality and compliance with international and democratic standards and the rule of law. Furthermore, they also identify the extent to which new legislation infringes upon or limits human rights and/or civil liberties and and the direction defined by the legislation for the political system developments.

The Team's opinions, reviews and opinion papers are presented to Government, Parliament, media and the general public.
 
The Team has so far reviewed the Private Member's Bill Amending the Civil Service Law and Certain Other Laws, and then the adopted Civil Service Law (review paper by Professor Hubert Izdebski) and he Private Member's Bill Amending the Ombudsman Law and Certain Other Laws (review paper by Dr. Tomasz Zalasiński.


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