Logo Assembly Logo Hemicycle

PACE Poland monitors: the independence of the Polish Human Rights Defender institution must be ensured

The PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Poland, Azadeh Rojhan Gustafsson (Sweden, SOC) and Pieter Omtzigt (Netherlands, EPP/CD), have expressed their deep concern at the implications of the Polish Constitutional Court ruling that effectively removes the current Human Rights Defender from his position in three months, even if the Polish Parliament cannot agree on a successor.

“We underscore that according to the Venice Principles ‘States shall refrain from taking any action aiming at or resulting in the suppression of the Ombudsman institution or in any hurdles to its effective functioning, and shall effectively protect it from any such threats.’ The current situation is clearly at variance with this principle. In addition we are concerned that this judgment will facilitate attempts to bring this important institution under political control. This would run counter to the core principles of the Ombudsperson institution, which are independence, objectivity, transparency, fairness and impartiality,” the two co-rapporteurs pointed out.

The co-rapporteurs therefore called upon all political forces in Poland to fully respect the independence of the institution of the Polish Human Rights Defender, and to reach consensus within three months on an independent and impartial successor to the current Human Rights Defender that will have the trust and support of all political and social forces in Poland.