In a letter to the Polish Foreign Minister, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić has today taken a step of formally asking Poland to explain how, in the context of the recent judgment from the country’s Constitutional Court, it ensures the effective implementation of its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.
The request refers, in particular, to the right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law, and the role of the European Court of Human Rights in having the final say on interpreting the Convention. The letter asked Poland to reply by 7 March 2022.
The procedure invoked by the Secretary General, which is provided for under Article 52 of the Convention, stipulates that “on receipt of a request from the Secretary General of the Council of Europe any High Contracting Party shall furnish an explanation of the manner in which its internal law ensures the effective implementation of any of the provisions of the Convention”.
The Polish Constitutional Court’s judgment of 24 November 2021 found that Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention, safeguarding the right to a fair trial, is not compliant with the Polish Constitution in certain circumstances.
The Secretary General described the judgment as unprecedented, and said that it raised serious concerns.