At present Poland is one of the most symbolic cases of Rule of Law erosion. The country, in fact, experienced several attempts by the Government to take over the judiciary system, by issuing early retirements with preferential treatments for new pro-government appointees, frequent disciplinary actions and public attacks on the judiciary. The climax was reached when the Chamber passed a new law restricting judges' independence by heavily sanctioning those who “criticize the choice of the appointees and engage in politics” and by excluding judges “who might endanger the correct functioning of the judiciary system”. The bill has not yet been discussed by the Senate.
Polish judges, through a network of organizations working on the matter (Iustitia democracja, Themis judges association, Defensor Iuris, Pro Familia, Free Courts, Lex Super Omnia , Family judges association), called for a silent march on January 11th, from the Constitutional Court to the Parliament, to raise awareness on the state of the Rule of Law in Poland and, for the first time ever, they publicly called on European judges and lawyers to join the initiative.
Several are already announcing their presence. Among other participants, the march will also be attended by Marco Cappato (Associazione Luca Coscioni), founder of EUmans, a pan-European movement of popular initiative aimed at reaching the UN 2030 sustainable goals: “ Recent institutional and political attacks perpetrated by the Polish Government against polish judges and their independence from the executive power are not only a serious Polish internal problem, but they also represent an attack against the freedom of all European citizens. If the European Union was to tolerate such a violation of its core values by a Member State – whether Poland, Hungary, Italy or any other Member State – it would hopelessly damage the very dream of a Europe able to defend Democracy and the Law.
I experienced firsthand, through civil disobedience actions, how important it is to have an independent judiciary, where Government and parliamentary majorities have no direct power to impose decisions on judges and on the Constitutional Court. Tragically, it is exactly what is happening in Poland right now.”
In Warsaw, Marco will be siding with the organizers of the march also to collect signatures for the European Citizens' Initiative “formyrights.eu”, promoted by the European Movement and supported by the Associazione Luca Coscioni, Science for Democracy and Eumans which calls on the European Commission to create an impartial evaluation mechanism to verify in an objective manner the practical application of the Rule of Law in the Member States.
“The European Union – concludes Cappato - must provide itself with tools to deal with human rights matters just as vehemently as it does with economic matters”.