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Poland’s implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights: Secretary General’s Report

Secretary General Strasbourg 23 November 2022
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Poland’s implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights: Secretary General’s Report

A report by Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has been published on 23 November on serious issues raised by two judgments of the Polish Constitutional Court of 24 November 2021 and 10 March 2022. In these judgments, the Constitutional Court found that the European Convention on Human Rights, specifically Article 6, which ensures the right to a fair trial (as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights), is not compliant with the Polish constitution.

The Secretary General concludes that the established and exclusive competence of the European Court to apply and interpret the rights set out in the Convention was challenged by these two judgments. As a result, Poland’s obligation to ensure to everyone under its jurisdiction the enjoyment of the right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law is, at this stage, not fulfilled in Polish law. The Secretary General expresses her concerns in view of the rising number of similar judgments and related applications pending before the European Court.

In her report, the Secretary General underlines Poland’s strict obligation to execute the judgments of the European Court and stresses that the shortcomings identified need to be addressed by the Committee of Ministers when supervising Poland’s execution of these judgments, pursuant to Article 46 of the Convention. The Committee of Ministers will supervise in December 2022 the execution by Poland of judgments of the European Court in the cases of Xero Flor w Polsce sp. z o.o., Reczkowicz group of cases, Broda and Bojara.

The report shall serve as a basis for further engagement with the Polish authorities in a constructive dialogue, with a view to ensuring the full enjoyment of the right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law in Poland.

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