The article concerns the obstruction of access to public records (affidavits of support for candidates to the Polish National Council of The Judiciary) by the Chancellery of the Sejm, despite its fundamental importance for assessment of the Council’s constitutionality. The concerns expressed by the European Court of Justice on November 19th, 2019 in joint cases A.K. & Others (C-585/18, C-624/18 and C-625/18) followed by Polish Supreme Court resolution BSA I-4110-1/20 of January 23rd, 2020 may boil down to the need of verifying the entire appointment process through the inspection of paper records held by the Sejm. The proactive disclosure of the crucial records by the Sejm in February 2020 took almost two years when the legal dispute regarding the Council’s status had already been resolved by a Supreme Court resolution. Despite strong and clear constitutional provisions for access to such information (art. 54, 61 of the Constitution of Poland), the practical problem lies in the relatively inefficient freedom of information law weakened, ironically by the first victim of such a culture of secrecy, the judiciary itself, and the extreme reluctance of all political actors (including the opposition) in a parliamentary system of government to improve transparency. The article proves that there shall be no compromise over the scope and efficiency of the FOIA law if the records are of fundamental importance for the preservation of constitutional order.
Nov 4, 2020
Jul 30, 2020
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