How Was the 'Rule of Law' Dismantled in Poland and What Does It Mean for the EU?
La Unión Europea y el reto del Estado de Derecho (edited by Susana Sanz Caballero), Thomson Reuters Aranzadi 2022, pp. 277-294
13 Pages Posted: 2 May 2022
Date Written: 2022
The paper analyses how the rule of law backsliding in Poland led to the decision of the Polish CT of 7 October 2021 (K 3/21). First of all, in post-2015 Poland the “rule of law” was transformed into the “rule by law”, where arbitrary legislative amendments not only implement anti-constitutional political agenda, but also secure unchecked public power and allow to avoid accountability. The central role in this transformation was played by the Constitutional Tribunal – captured by the ruling majority and transformed into a loyal enabler1 of the ruling majority. Secondly, the paper analyses the “ruling” issued by the Constitutional Tribunal on 7 October 2021, in which numerous provisions of the EU Treaties were found to be incompatible with the Polish Constitution. It shows that the consequences of the rule of law backsliding in Poland are not limited solely to Poland, Polish citizens or even to judicial cooperation with the Polish courts. It constitutes an imminent threat to the EU integration. Finally, the paper analyses the ruling’s shortcomings and attempts to provide possible legal and political consequences thereof.
Keywords: rule of law, European Union, Poland, Constitutional Tribunal
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