EU Parliament urges Poland to respect rule of law in constitutional crisis

April 14, 2016 3:22 am 

MOSCOW, April 13 — European lawmakers voted in a non-binding resolution Wednesday calling on Polish leadership to respect the rule of law in the country’s constitutional crisis.

Lawmakers said Polish President Andrzej Duda and his government’s actions created a de-facto "paralysis" in the Constitutional Tribunal by refusing to publish its ruling last month declaring new legislation unconstitutional.

"The resolution, passed by 513 votes to 142 with 30 abstentions, wraps up a plenary debate held in January after the European Commission decided to start an inquiry under the Rule of Law framework into reforms of the Polish Constitutional Court," the European Parliament said in a press release.

Duda enacted a law in December requiring a two-thirds majority and the mandatory participation of 13 out of 15 judges for Constitutional Tribunal rulings to stand. The refusal to publish the tribunal’s March ruling effectively prevents it from being considered legally binding.

Duda’s incoming government refused to seat five judges his predecessor nominated to the 15-member Constitutional Tribunal in October, naming five judges of its own and triggering the constitutional crisis.

The European Commission launched in mid-January a preliminary review on whether the new laws introduced by the Polish government were in breach of the EU rule of law. Two months later, the Council of Europe’s advisory panel known as the Venice Commission argued in its report that the law, in combination with other amendments, endangered the rule of law and the democratic system in Poland. (PNA/Sputnik)

RMA/RSM

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