Chapter 12: Weaponizing judicial discipline: Poland
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The Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS-Law and Justice) party weaponized judicial discipline seeking a “silver bullet” to pierce the Polish constitution’s judicial independence protections within a veil of autocratic legalism. The chapter puts judicial discipline in context of PiS’s attempted legal system takeover. PiS exploited weaknesses in the existing system’s open-ended standards and informal process, which are common to many other countries. The chapter describes the Muzzle Act’s February 2020 escalation in response to Polish judicial resistance and Court of Justice of the European Union rulings and closes with the continuing battle regarding separation of powers, rule of law, and constitutionalism.

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