Towards Populist Jurisprudence?

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14 August 2019 at UNSW Law, Sydney

Rights and Community in the Rulings of the Polish Constitutional Court 2017-2019

Speaker: Michał Stambulski

The backdrop for this presentation is Poland’s parliamentary elections in 2015 and the subsequent change in the composition of the Polish Constitutional Court. 

The Court – once one of the main guardians of the rule of law and often presented as a model for the constitutional judiciary in the region of Central and Eastern Europe – has been much critiqued by political parties and in the media. At issue is the decrease in the number of incoming cases concerning the review of constitutionality and the number of decisions issued – coupled with a negative appraisal by domestic and international legal scholars, could these changes be taken as part of developments connected with illiberal democracy and populist constitutionalism? 

Dr Michał Stambulski is a Polish advocate and philosopher of law, and serves as the executive director at the Centre for Legal Education and Social Theory, University of Wrocław (read more about the Centre). His research interests include constitutionalism in Central and Eastern Europe, law and ideology, and legal education.

To shed light on such questions, Dr Stambulski will discuss two recent rulings of the Polish Constitutional Court – one decided in 2017 which concerns the right of assembly in connection with the introduction of a special category of privileged “cyclical assemblies”, the other decided in 2019 and concerned the possibility of raising a “conscience objection” in order to refuse to provide a service (in the case at hand – a print shop refused to print an LGBT poster).

Related working paper: [forthcoming]

Post-event note: In advance of the working paper, download the slides from the event.

The event is free but registration is important to secure your seat.

Our project is co-hosting this talk with the Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law.