Statement from the President of the CCBE (the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe) regarding the situation in Poland

The CCBE joins Polish citizens, civil society associations and professional organizations who are publicly demonstrating their disagreement with the ongoing purges in the judiciary, and with the deterioration of the democratic establishment and the Rule of Law in Poland.

On 3 July 2018, 27 justices from the Supreme Court of Poland, including its President, Prof. Dr. Małgorzata Gersdorf, were forced to retire, which certain sources consider a purge on the Polish judiciary. Furthermore, the new procedure for appointing judges in Poland does not offer the same guarantees to ensure the independence of the judiciary, as those which existed under the previous procedure. These changes are followed with increasing concern, as the independence of the judiciary from all types of interference is essential for the Rule of Law.

We formally urge the Polish authorities to take the appropriate measures to ensure the Rule of Law. Specifically, to halt actions related to the judiciary which undermine the Rule of Law in Poland.

Full text of the statement below.