The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe once again rejected the candidacy for the Polish judge of the European Court of Human Rights. Thus, the recommendation of the Council of Europe Committee for the election of judges of the European Court of Human Rights was confirmed. The Polish side will have to prepare new candidatures.
Committee of the Council of Europe for the election of judges of the European Court of Human Rights recommended the rejection of the candidates indicated by the Polish government on January 19. It was emphasized that not all candidates meet the requirements set out in the European Convention on Human Rights. As a consequence, it was also recommended that the Polish government be asked to prepare a new list of candidates.
During the ongoing Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE, these recommendations were voted in favor. Thus, the Polish list of candidates for an ECHR judge was rejected, and Poland should prepare new candidates.
This is the second time that persons designated by the Polish government have not received approval. In April last year The committee also disagreed on the list indicated by the PiS government (the candidates were the same as now). Later The assembly finally rejected her. During the meeting, it was admitted that the main reason for such a decision was the non-transparent procedure of nominating candidates. The council asked Poland to appoint new people – the procedure of selecting a Polish candidate for the ECtHR had to be repeated.
In December this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the list of three candidates for Polish judge of the ECtHR.
And again the same people were proposed: habilitated doctor Elżbieta Karska, professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, and privately wife of the MEP Karol Karski; habilitated doctor Aleksander Stępkowski, Supreme Court spokesman, founder of the ultra-conservative Ordo Iuris, former deputy minister in the PiS government and doctor Agnieszka Szklanna, expert of the Council of Europe.
The European Court of Human Rights – what is it?
European Court of Human Rights is an organ Council of Europe – adjudicate on complaints about violations of the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its additional protocols. The ECtHR consists of 47 judges – one from each state party to the Convention. Their term of office is nine years.
The requirements for holding the office of a judge of the ECHR are set out in Art. 21 of the Convention: judges should be people of the “highest moral level”, and must either be qualified to hold a high judicial office or be lawyers of recognized competence. Judges sit in the Tribunal on their own behalf, and while in office they may not participate in any activity incompatible with independence, impartiality and the requirements of holding office full-time.
Before voting by the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE, the candidates are assessed by a specially appointed committee (committee). This first assesses the “fairness and openness” of the process of their selection in the country, and only then goes on to assess their qualifications. If the committee considers that all the conditions it has set have been met, the final choice is made by the Parliamentary Assembly itself by secret ballot in plenary.
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