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Council of Europe chief urges Polish parliament to find solution to crisis

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 04.04.2016 18:17
The Secretary General of human rights body the Council of Europe said on Monday during a visit to Warsaw that Poland's Constitutional Tribunal is paralysed and urged the country’s parliament to find a way out of the crisis.
Thorbjoern Jagland. Photo: PAP/Jacek TurczykThorbjoern Jagland. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

As the European Commission holds a probe into the rule of law in Poland, Council of Europe chief Thorbjoern Jagland on Monday began a two-day trip to this country.

He held talks with top officials including Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski.

The talks focused on a deadlock at Poland's Constitutional Tribunal. Jagland warned that if the stalemate is not resolved, Warsaw could see complaints being lodged with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Jagland told reporters that a paralyzed Constitutional Tribunal means that Poland has no system to monitor whether the law is being enforced.

He said the best way out would be a “parliamentary solution,” adding that the Polish authorities had told him such efforts were underway.

Later on Monday, Jagland was to meet Polish President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Beata Szydło.

On 11 March, human rights watchdog the Venice Commission, an arm of the Council of Europe, urged Poland's ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) to respect a ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal.

The Tribunal on March 9 rejected a series of controversial changes to the way it functions introduced by Law and Justice. Critics say the changes were designed to paralyse the Tribunal, amid PiS fears that the court would block key reforms pledged by the party in the run-up to its landslide election victory in October.

The court's ruling is only binding if officially published by Prime Minister Beata Szydło, which she has refused to do, claiming its decision is invalid.

The first cross-party talks on the matter were held in Poland on 31 March. Opposition MPs voiced mixed opinions following the session.(pk)

Source: PAP/IAR

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