Poland : Judicial independence must be restored

The ICJ submitted today its written contribution to the fourth Universal Periodic Review of the human rights situation of Poland by the UN Human Rights Council and called on the Polish Government to restore the independence of the judiciary.

In its submission the ICJ presented grave concerns relevant to the rule of law in Poland, in particular with regard to the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

The ICJ called upon the UN Human Rights Council and its Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review to recommend to the authorities of Poland the following:

  1. Abrogate the reforms of the judiciary introduced in the last decade and, in particular, guarantee that the judicial system be free from control of the executive and legislative branches of the State.
  2. Ensure that procedures for nominations and promotions of judges be in full compliance with relevant international and regional standards, including by amending procedures for the election of members to the NCJ, so as to ensure that at least half of its members be judges elected by their peers.
  3. Overhaul the reforms introduced to disciplinary procedures for judges, including at the Supreme Court level, with a view to ensuring freedom from undue political (executive and legislative) influence in this respect.
  4. Ensure that judges and legal professionals be able to express their views, including on issues related to judicial independence, protection of human rights, the separation of powers and the rule of law, consistent with their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, and their right to respect for private life.
  5. Take all necessary legal measures to fully comply with judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the European Union and other international courts and international human rights mechanisms.

Read the submission: Poland-UPR-ICJsubmission-4thcycle-Final

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