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Roundtable on the Rule of Law in Poland

On Thursday 25 January 2018 the Europa Instituut in Leiden hosted a round table session with the title “Securing the rule of law in Poland: which role for Europe?”. It was a small meeting bringing high-level experts together under Chatham House Rule.

In the last two years the Polish legislature has adopted a series of measures aimed at reforming the judiciary. This development has sparked great controversy, both within and outside Poland. Various international institutions, such as the Venice Commission and the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, have severely criticized the changes, arguing that the independence of the judiciary is at stake. These concerns met in turn with a strong reaction in Poland. By the end of December 2017 the European Commission has taken the view that there is a clear risk of a serious violation of the rule of law in Poland. In response the Commission announced various actions, the most remarkable one of which is that it activated, for the first time in history, the mechanism of Article 7 (1) of the EU Treaty.


Three speakers gave introductions: 

  • Dr. Andrew Drzemczewski, Strasbourg (former Head of Legal Affairs & Human Rights Department, PACE, Council of Europe, now i.a. visiting professor at Middlesex University Law School, London)
  • Dr. Paweł Filipek, Crakow (lecturer of European law and International law at Uniwersytet Jagielloński, and Crakow University of Economics)
  • Mr. Marcin Warchoł, Warsaw (Deputy Minister, Ministry of Justice, Republic of Poland)

The meeting was convened by prof. Rick Lawson.

Leiden Law Exchanges

The roundtable was organized in the context of the Leiden Law Exchanges (LLX). The aim of these LLX meetings is to facilitate an exchange of ideas on current legal issues between academics, policy makers and other stakeholders. Chatham House Rule applies and the meetings are by invitation only.

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