Statement of the Judicial Council for Scotland on judicial independence in Poland

The Judicial Council for Scotland has followed with increasing concern reports of legislative developments in Poland which threaten to deprive the judiciary of independence from executive control.

The Council notes the statement issued on 26 April 2017 by the European Network of Judicial Councils which can be found here. That statement draws attention to draft legislation which would have the effect of bringing the appointment and dismissal of judges under further Government control, and to the regular attacks by the media upon the Polish judiciary. The Council shares the grave concerns expressed in that statement, and also in the statement issued on 8 May 2017 by the Judges’ Council of England and Wales, which can be found here.

The Judicial Council for Scotland said: “As a non-political body representing independent judges in Scotland, the Judicial Council for Scotland expresses its solidarity with the Polish judiciary and emphasises the vital importance of its continued independence. Without such independence, which guarantees the fair and impartial administration of justice, the trust among judiciaries which is necessary for mutual recognition and cooperation cannot continue to exist.”