Justice Defence Committee (KOS) is set up

On 4 June 2018 eight organizations set up KOS.

We set up the Justice Defence Committee (KOS) on 4 June 2018, the 29th anniversary of the 1989 elections, which marked the start of Poland’s road to freedom and democracy.

The agreement is being signed by the representatives of organizations of judges, prosecutors, civil society organizations and initiatives involved in the defence of the rule of law in Poland.

  • The signatories to the agreement are:
  • The Professor Zbigniew Hołda Association;
  • The Association of Polish Judges “Iustitia”;
  • The Association of Judges “THEMIS”;
  • The Association of Prosecutors “Lex super omnia”;
  • The “Free Courts” civic initiative;
  • The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights;
  • The Institute for Law and Society, INPRIS;
  • The Osiatyński Archive.

The stimulus for establishing the Justice Defence Committee (KOS) is the threat to the independence of courts, judges and lawyers: attorneys-at-law, legal counsels, prosecutors and representatives of other legal professions. Such a threat arises from the amendments being made during the current term of office of the Parliament to the Acts on the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Constitutional Tribunal, the Common Courts, the National Judicial Council and the Supreme Court.

Cases of interference of the authorities in the independence of judges and other legal professionals, including by initiating disciplinary actions, personal attacks and other forms of pressure that can lead to the actual restriction of independence are also giving rise to particular concern.

The Justice Defence Committee (KOS) has set itself the following objectives:

  • to monitor cases of pressure being exerted on judges, prosecutors, attorneys-at-law, legal counsels and other legal professionals;
  • to inform the public about such cases;
  • to offer defence and support to those who are being harassed;
  • to take action in support of the rule of law and in order to maintain the independence of judges and the the legal professions.

We are establishing the KOS initiative to promote and defend the rule of law in Poland and, consequently, to ensure the protection of civil rights and freedoms.

 

Translation by INPRIS