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Venice Commission visits Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Roberto Galea 12.09.2016 14:10
The Venice Commission, an international watchdog and advisory group to human rights body the Council of Europe, on Monday visited Poland to probe the Constitutional Tribunal.
The three delegates of the Venice Commission in Warsaw on Monday. Photo: PAP/Leszek SzymańskiThe three delegates of the Venice Commission in Warsaw on Monday. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

The focus of the Commission’s investigation is “the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal adopted by the Sejm this summer,” the Venice Commission said in a statement.

“The programme of the visit includes meetings at the Supreme Court, Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, the Constitutional Tribunal, the Ombudsman and the Chancellery of the Prime Minister,” the statement read.

A spokesman for the Polish Supreme Court said that apart from the topics relating to the Constitutional Tribunal, the members of the commission also asked questions about “a certain atmosphere” surrounding the judiciary in Poland.

“No one is claiming that the judiciary is functioning perfectly. Let’s just talk about how to fix these errors, eliminate them. Let’s not start the conversation with removing judges,” the spokesperson, Dariusz Świecki, said.

Meanwhile, six Constitutional Tribunal judges who were sworn in by the governing Law and Justice (PiS) party in December and in April, refused to meet with the three members of the Venice Commission, according to a letter sent to the PAP news agency.

A month after the visit, the Venice Commission will issue a report on a recently-passed law on Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. (rg)

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