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Poland - Statement by the Venice Commission's President Gianni Buquicchio


Strasbourg - I have been informed that the Polish parliament is adopting a number of laws on the judicial system affecting inter alia the National Council of the Judiciary and the Supreme Court. The Venice Commission has not examined these texts but I would like to recall that the independence of the judiciary is a basic element of the rule of law, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The fact that judges may not be dismissed before the end of their term of office, except on the basis of proper disciplinary proceedings, is a fundamental guarantee of their independence. Any legislation arbitrarily terminating the term of office of judges can only be regarded as a flagrant violation of the European constitutional heritage.

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Covid-19 pandemic -
Emergency powers -
 What standards?


During the current Covid-19 pandemic, national governments are taking exceptional measures to slow down the spread of the virus. On numerous occasions, the Venice Commission examined the limits of such emergency powers. The Commission has consistently underlined that State security and public safety can only be effectively guaranteed in a democracy which fully respects the rule of law. Even in genuine cases of emergency situations, the rule of law must prevail.



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