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Experts speak on the state of the Polish legal system today

On September 19, IWP hosted the Ordo Iuris Institute’s Joanna Banasiuk and Tymoteusz Zych to discuss the state of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Poland in view of the October 2015 elections.  The Ordo Iuris Institute is an independent legal organization established in 2012 as a foundation in Poland to ensure that Polish institutions are transparent and stewards of the rule of law.  Part of its mission includes providing legal analysis to the Polish parliament and other organizations on national and international issues. In the October 2015 elections, the Polish citizenry voted the conservative Law and Justice party into power, replacing the Liberal party as the majority in parliament.  Following this election, a distortion of events regarding this change has generated misunderstanding from Western audiences over the status of democracy in Poland. 

To alleviate doubts and satisfy the need for an unbiased fact-driven report, Ordo Iuris published “The State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Poland – Recent Developments.” Mr. Banasiuk and Mr. Zych discussed the report’s conclusions and some of the contributing causes to the current media distortion.  They argue that there is a selective bias in the media. For example, most Western news outlets failed to document the passing of legislation by the last government that threatened the independence of the Polish legal system. However, following the election this time around, this same group has rediscovered its sensitivity to the same accusations made against the government in Poland today-decisions which have been ratified and declared constitutional by Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. These decisions include the election of judges, reformations to prosecution, immigration, and family rights laws.  The Institute cites as further evidence that the majority of opinions in Poland today have not changed about whether Poland is a free, independent nation.

The video to this lecture can be accessed, here.