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Photo: OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Human rights, Rule of law

OSCE/ODIHR concerned about decision undermining judicial independence in Poland

The ruling by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court of Poland on 18 November 2020, stripping Judge Igor Tuleya of his immunity, raises concerns about judicial independence in the country.

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WARSAW, 20 November 2020 – The independence and impartiality of judges is a crucial component of the right to a fair trial. In both 2017 and 2020, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) made recommendations to improve legislation regarding the executive branch influence over disciplinary proceedings against judges in Poland. ODIHR reports have found that shortcomings in the current legal framework seriously undermine judicial independence and the separation of powers in Poland.

Poland, like all OSCE participating States, has committed to “support and advance the independence of judges and the impartial operation of the public judicial service” as well as to “respect the internationally recognized standards that relate to the independence of judges”. ODIHR will continue to follow the developments in this case and stands ready to support the Polish authorities to address concerns.

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