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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Poland's judges are not independent. But neither are the rest of Europe's.

Poland's judicial independence comes in at 99th in the 2018 World Economic Forum tables, below Swaziland, Mali and Zambia. Nigeria is at 82. Poland's judicial system, like all those in Napoleonic law nations, is deeply politicised - the reason that Poland has over 4,000 cyclists in prison is not for any great breach in natural or moral law. 

However, only very few nations in Europe - the UK and the Netherlands amongst them - can criticise. Italy is not far from Nigeria, neither is Spain. Turkey, at 103rd place, receives hundreds of millions of Euros in bribe money from the EU to keep Syrian migrants within Turkish borders, despite draconian restrictions on press freedom, tens of thousands of political prisoners in detention and a growing number of unexplained deaths in custody of military officers. EU officials are not driven by human rights abuses, clearly, in their actions against Poland. The EU's excuse for action, Poland's changes to judicial appointments, are a smokescreen to disguise the use of the Brussels knout to bludgeon a disobedient vassal state into line. 

If this action was really aimed at improving judicial independence, then Latvia, Slovenia, Greece and Italy would be next in line for EU sanctions. they're not. Their courts can be as corrupt as they can be without fear, because they obey Brussels. And that's the reality about the utterly crooked, despotic regime that we're desperately trying to leave. 


rapscallion said...

Of course that's the case Radders. It's clear to anybody who even has a passing understanding of the despotic tyranny that is the EU. It is also mainly why I have absolutely no faith in Napoleonic or Roman law, because you are judged guilty before you start. You have to prove your innocence. Because its the state that is the prosecutor, the state is never wrong is it? It is built in corruption. I don't doubt that there are some judgements in the UK that are highly suspect, and it's no different in other countries where English Common Law is the basis of law, but it's a helluva better than the rest of the world.

Poland, like Hungary is sticking two fingers up to the EU and they must be punished for their insolence. Still, removing Poland's voting rights in the EU is really going to go down well in Poland isn't it. It's almost guaranteed to cause the Poles to dig their heels in, and if necessary leave.

They don't realise it yet, but when we voted to leave, we really started the ball rolling. The EU will break up and Europe will be free. We will have liberated them yet again for the 3rd time in nearly a century!

L fairfax said...

Why are so many cyclists in prison in Poland?

Anonymous said...

You astound me Raedwald, surely our courts cannot be trusted to ensure that citizens, all citizens, even wetbacks from the swarthy south-eastern area of our great EU nation, will be treated without prejudice?

Surely those people need the calming reassurance that the ECJ affords them?


Anonymous said...

@L fairfax:

That's easy, crimes against fashion.... The velcro police are very powerful in some places.


Raedwald said...

L fairfax - cycling whilst drunk. They only lock them up after a 3rd offence. Polish lads in London were delighted to find the UK police don't pursue this offence ...

Mark In Mayenne said...

Lech Walesa is Polish, no?

English Pensioner said...

My daughter's US employer in the UK has made it quite clear to all the staff that their European HQ will remain here after Brexit because the company wishes to operate under British law, and particularly British commercial law and contracts.
Apparently it is rare for any company to obtain a commercial court decision in most European countries which does not favour the home company.

Edward Spalton said...

It is not actually true that you are " guilty until proved innocent" under Roman law systems.
The investigatory stage is inquisitorial rather than accusatorial and the prosecutor/ investigating magistrate
can hold suspects without charge whilst he makes his inquiries. But eventually he has either to let the suspect
go or bring the case to court. There is then a presumption of innocence - but not quite of the British sort
where the opposing counsel slog things out with the judge as umpire between them and the jury as the judges of fact.
The prosecutor and the judge - or judges - are all part of the same civil service. Even university courses are different for
those going into the state service or those aiming to qualify for the equivalent of becoming solicitors and barristers.

And, of course, there is no jury although some countries' courts have lay assessors who look a bit like jurors but retire with the
Judge . Of course, neither system is perfect. In the first trial of Geert Wilders, a judge actually tried to nobble a leading
defence witness, Professor Jansen an Arabic scholar, whose testimony was that there could be no such thing as " moderate
Islam" although there were many moderate Muslims. The panel of judges was dismissed and a new one appointed, which did
not allow Jansen to testify in person but had his evidence read into the record. They acquitted Wilders.

Juries are not flawless either and there was a famous Irish case of a perverse acquittal where the judge asked the foreman
for a clue as to how they had arrived at their verdict. "Insanity, Your Honour" replied the foreman. " What - all of you?" replied
His Honour!

Poisonedchalice said...

@English Pensioner

Nail. Head. Britain is still highly respected in this regard. And it is this respect that will carry us through. What we have to do now is ensure nothing ever damages this particular jewel in our crown.

Anonymous said...

New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada – half the top 10. Now what’s the common factor?

I'm not so sure about Norway, either. Norwegian firms normally insist on UK law for international contracts (in my limited experience).

rapscallion said...

Edward Spalton

I stand corrected. Nevertheless you yourself stated that "prosecutor/ investigating magistrate
can hold suspects without charge whilst he makes his inquiries" I note it has no time limit, unlike our system where Habeus Corpus is activated (except for suspected terrorism) after 24 hours

Still, I suspect Edward that you would rather be subject to British law than to Napoleonic law.