Lecture by Dr Michal Krotoszynski at Syracuse University College of Law

Dr Michał Krotoszyńskion the background of the Syracuse University College of Law building and the Syracuse signDr Michal Krotoszyński presented a lecture to Syracuse University College of Law students last week, “From ‘Legal Impossibilism’ to the Rule of Law Crisis: Transitional Justice and Polish Counter-Constitutionalism.

Since 2015, Poland’s Law and Justice political party has significantly altered the composition of the Polish Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the National Council of Judiciary; and expanded the power of executive branch in relation to the courts. This process – commonly referred to as a period of ‘anti-constitutional populist backsliding’ (Sadurski 2014) – also has a transitional justice dimension. Professor Krotoszynski posits that the cornerstone of this counter-constitutionalism is a myth of ‘legal impossibilism’: a belief in strict constitutional constraints supposedly stopping the parliamentary majority from introducing crucial reforms, including transitional justice measures.

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