The Civic Network – Watchdog Polska organization filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights. It is about the refusal of access to the calendar of meetings by Julia Przyłębska, who is the President of the Constitutional Tribunal and the Vice-President of the Constitutional Tribunal Mariusz Muszyński.
In July 2017, the organization Sieć Obywatelska – Watchdog Polska submitted an application to the Constitutional Tribunal to read the calendar of meetings between Julia Przyłębska and Mariusz Muszyński, because the media informed about possible meetings of the Constitutional Tribunal employees with politicians.
“In the case of both persons, the Association indicated that the application concerns only the performance of duties related to the Constitutional Tribunal and activities that took place before the date of submission of the reply – from January 1, 2017 to the date of the reply,” we read in the organization’s application. Associates also wanted to know who was entering and exiting the Tribunal.
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Refusal by the Constitutional Tribunal
On August 9, 2017, the Association was refused. The Constitutional Tribunal informed that the meeting schedule is “an official document and does not constitute public information”, and the authority “does not have information (documents) about persons entering and leaving the building of the Constitutional Tribunal, as such records are not kept”.
On September 7 of the same year, the Association filed a complaint for inactivity to the Provincial Administrative Court, and then to the Supreme Administrative Court, but to no avail.
Osowski: the complaint to the ECtHR was accepted and communicated to the Polish government
The issue of gaining access to the calendar of Przyłębska and Muszyński meetings is now to be examined by the European Court of Human Rights, to which the organization has lodged a complaint.
– The case is quite important, because it concerns two basic matters and I will start with the latter, that – as a society, journalists – we have the right to know with whom representatives of the authorities and the court meet – said Szymon Osowski from Watchdog Polski at the press conference . – The second is a broader matter which shows that it is not good with our right to information and openness in Poland, because we have been conducting court proceedings for these calendars since 2012. From year to year, there were worse and worse judgments indicating that as a society we cannot know with whom politicians and also the highest people in the state are meeting – explained Osowski.
He informed that the complaint to the ECtHR had been accepted and communicated to the Polish government. – In our opinion, it will be a fundamental issue both about the knowledge of who politicians are meeting with, but in fact about the limits of transparency in Poland and how much information we cannot get – he assessed. Osowski expressed his hope that “the European Court of Human Rights will deal with this matter in a way that shows how much we, as a society, know about what politicians are doing.”
According to Watchdog Polska, the sentence may be passed in the next 2-3 years.
Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka / PAP