Jakub Kocjan z zarządu Akcji Demokracji na zaproszenie prof. Adam Bodnar miał zaszczyt oficjalnie podsumować konferencję w Fundacji im. Stefana Batorego „Governmental accountability in Poland – What is at stake and what can be done?”.

Wspólnie z szeregiem znakomitych gości, zarówno zagranicznych (jak Iver Ørstavik) oraz krajowych, w tym m.in. prof. Mirosław Wyrzykowski, prof. Maciej Taborowski, mec. Katarzyna Gajowniczek-Pruszyńska, dr. Anna Wójcik i mec. Paulina Kieszkowska-Knapik prawnicy i prawniczki zastanawiali się nad mechanizmami odpowiedzialności władzy za naruszenia praw obywatelskich.

Fot. Iver Ørstavik

Oto wystąpienie Jakuba Kocjana:

„Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is really a great honor to have the possibility of summarizing such an amazing discussion with such eminent guests.

We meet on the very special day. Tonight, women in 50 cities will protest after the death of Dorota. Next woman, who died after the so-called judgment of the so-called Constitutional Tribunal, which banned abortion.

It is the story of a personal disaster. It is the story of a chilling effect on doctors.

It is the story of how the rule of law impacts the life of a particular citizen, here women’s rights, also minority rights, such as LGBT+ rights, but also business and investors, as it was shown in the Initiative Free Courts report, or even expropriated citizens, as attorney Paulina Kieszkowska-Knapik noticed.

But it is also a story of particular decisions made by particular people.

Of President Duda, who enabled people who were not judges to become members of the Constitutional Tribunal.

Of parliamentary majority, which elected its own “judges” for already filled seats.

And of the leaders of such a “Tribunal”, who decided to pass a political platform of the ruling party in the midst of a pandemic wave, when hundreds of thousands of people had to risk their lives, protesting in order to protect women’s lives.

And there is no “political accountability” anymore. This term is archaic. Why? Because there are no free elections, as it is shown in the poster behind us. Patryk Wachowiec described precisely how the Electoral Code has been changed in the interest of the governing camp, violating electoral silence.

Let’s go back for a while to the 2020 presidential election. After an unsuccessful attempt to organize only mail-in ballots, eventually, on election day… polls were closed. The voting took place on a random date decided by the leaders of the ruling coalition. Then the Chamber of Extraordinary Affairs, which functions next to the Supreme Court, decided that the unconstitutional date of the election was not important for the validity of the election.

The only results of these elections were: the promotion of Mr. Sasin, the organizer of mail-in ballots, to deputy Prime Minister and the second thing was that Parliament passed a bill abolishing every local officials who violated data protection while organizing mail-in elections.

Why has it happened? The public prosecutor’s office is an instrument of the governing camp, as rightly established by Madame Dean Gajowniczek-Pruszyńska. Prosecutors are even more vulnerable to political influence due to the lack of constitutional guarantees, that judges have.

With the prosecutor’s office used as an instrument of pressure for businessmen and misusage of public resources on a large scale, we built an oligarchy system of organized and unpunished corruption on high levels.

Eliza Rutynowska introduced in her brilliant speech the term “zombification” – switching off more and more institutions, which maintain the name, but their activity changes completely. Together with bypassing old legal institutions, governmental accountability in our country has been switched off.

This is why international mechanisms are so important. We are still waiting for an infringement proceeding against a new National Council of Judiciary and the next steps regarding the so-called Constitutional Tribunal.  There is no better example of how justice delayed is justice denied.

I have to add one more thing, with maybe more social than legal dimension. The lack of governmental accountability destroys a whole society. I have to tell this story to guests from abroad. The son of opposition member of parliament was outed as a victim of paedophile. It was a form of cruel punishment against his mother for being too efficient in revealing the corruption of the governing coalition. After being outed, this boy committed suicide, and the journalist who outed him, has become a right-wing hero and maintained his promotion in public media.

Authoritarian authorities and illiberal democracies use crises (COVID, Ukraine) as a source of legitimacy, but we still have laws. Many panelists referred to Trump’s indictment, and it is a good example of the law prevailing political calculations. Trump has to be held accountable without analyzing how it influences Republican primaries. The same should happen in Poland.

Thank you again for your invitation and participation in this act of unintentional espionage, as Russian-style pro-anti-Russian commission may establish one day.”

Fot. Iver Ørstavik