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EU: Firm action needed to save right to fair trial in Poland

The independence of the judiciary is being actively undermined. Judges have been subjected to pressure and disciplinary procedures for judgements which go against the government line. That this situation has been allowed to develop in Poland is unacceptable.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

QUOTE

19 March 2018

EU: Firm action needed to save right to fair trial in Poland

-   Spokespeople available

-   Briefing including interviews with judges available

Ahead of discussions on Poland at the EU General Affairs Council tomorrow, 20 March, Iverna McGowan, Director of the Amnesty International, European Institutions Office, said:

“Recent moves to censor how people talk about Poland’s past, and to jeopardise the right to a fair trial in the future, flagrantly breach EU founding principles and laws on human rights. It is time for EU member states to stand up for people in Poland whose rights are being eroded.”

“The independence of the judiciary is being actively undermined. Judges have been subjected to pressure and disciplinary procedures for judgements which go against the government line. That this situation has been allowed to develop in Poland is unacceptable."

“The consequences of the reform of the judiciary in Poland are now so serious that they have reached the European Court of Justice (ECJ). A judge in Ireland last week refused to extradite a Polish man, arguing that he may not receive a fair trial in Poland. This is a damning indictment of the situation in the country, which has consequences for the EU at large.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Alison Abrahams on alison.abrahams@amnesty.org +32 2 548 27 73or +32 483 680 812

Ahead of the General Affairs Council Amnesty International has issued a briefing on the risk to the right to fair trial in Poland

20 March 2018 marks the deadline for Poland to respond to the European Commission’s 4th Rule of Law recommendation.

In referring Artur Celmer’s case to the ECJ, Irish Judge Aileen Donnelly’s also requested that the ECJ assess breaches of the values of the rule of law by Poland.