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Polish court: Human rights convention clashes with Polish law

Parts of the European Human Rights Convention are incompatible with the Polish constitution, according to the country’s constitutional court in a ruling on Wednesday that is likely to set up another fight with its European allies.
The ruling would mean that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has no legal basis to review the process by which members of the Polish court were named, according to the verdict.
The ruling specifically looks at Article 6 of the convention, a document that has been signed by 47 countries, including Poland. The article states that “everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.” According to the Polish ruling, that part of the convention could not be understood to mean that the European court has the right to review the independence of Polish judges.
The basis for the independence of the constitutional court judges is “the Polish constitution and other laws.” Explaining his decision, judge Wojciech Sych explained “You can’t view the constitutional tribunal as a court.” That would mean Poland would not be required to carry through some decisions by the European body. Poland’s national conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party has been reordering the country’s judiciary for years. That’s already led to fights with the European Commission, which has filed cases with the European Court of Justice.