Judge Land: on Judges and Courts fighting back for the Polish Rule of Law

10 October 2018

The Polish turn away from democracy, named by Sadurski as anti-constitutional populist backsliding, has taken on a new dramatic and bold turn involving the active use of the available tools by the judges to question and address the rule of law problems in Poland. The judges seem to be fighting back hard resulting in a suspenseful and binge-worthy narrative.

Karolina Podstawa

Karolina Podstawa is a Lecturer in the Department of European and International Law of the University of Maastricht. Since September 2019 she has also joined Maastricht European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity.

Currently, she represents the UM in the project TRIIAL: TRust, Independence, Impartiality and Accountability of judges focused on the identification of best practices in cooperation between judges across the European Union geared towards safeguarding judicial independence, impartiality and accountability. The project started in January 2020 and will continue until June 2022.

Prior to the appointment, she acted as a part-time Assistant Professor at the University of Łódź (Poland) as well as the Senior Researcher at the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC, Venice). She contributed to a series of projects dealing with the EU internal and external human rights polices, in particular: FRAME, ACTIONES, JUDCOOP, e-NACT. In the framework of the latter, she coordinated efforts to elaborate online training tools hosted by Global Campus of Human Rights.

She holds a PhD from the European University Institute and MAs in Law and Administration (2008), English Language and Literature (2009) from the University of Łódź, Poland as well as the LLM from the EUI (2009).

She acted as a project manager for the EUI based Centre for Judicial Cooperation where she dealt with and contributed substantively both to internally and externally funded projects. Within this framework she organized and conducted training activities for judges collaborating widely with international judicial organizations and national judicial entities.

Previously, as an in-house lawyer she dealt with liberalization of the Polish telecommunications market and more recently she served in the Office of Personal Data Protection Authority in Poland (GIODO).