Helsinki Committee on Constitutional Tribunal’s overhaul: primacy of law over force has been questioned
“It is difficult to voice one’s opinion on public matters today, when chaos and uproar stifle persuasion. Convincing and reaching out to others, alliance-seeking and the search for a common ground are suppressed by the violent force and words full of hatred”, reads the opening section of a position statement of the Helsinki Committee in Poland.
In its statement, the Committee comments on the refusal to sworn in lawfully appointed judges of the Constitutional Tribunal, the re-election of judges for already occupied seats on the Tribunal’s bench, and the refusal to publish and recognise judgments issued in the name of the Republic of Poland. Members of the Helsinki Committee emphasise that these actions are a withdrawal from the existing constitutional system, effected without an amendment to the Constitution. “What is even worse, this means that the law’s primacy over force has been questioned and the notion of the Constitution as a common, wide-reaching act powered by honest cooperation between branches of government has been abandoned”, reads the statement.
The Helsinki Committee also reminded that Polish Constitution was designed as an act that would protect the people against arbitrary actions of the government and as such it provided for a balanced division of powers between the judiciary, legislative and executive. In principle, the 1997 Constitution was designed to include, not divide, and to support dialogue and persuasion.