Internationally recognized constitutional expert Sujit Choudhry dedicated a chapter in his latest book, “Constitutional Democracies in Crisis?” to what is presently happening in Poland. In that nation a far-right party took over, called the Law and Justice Party, and is assaulting that nation’s constitution. They are rewriting it in order to take out all obstacles to their rule and they are working to ensure they maintain power going forward.
Sujit Choudhry says that the first thing they did was to focus on remaking the court system, including this nation’s Constitutional Court. They changed how voting works, how judges are assigned cases, and created the position of Interim President. He said they did this over a period of a year where at times they pushed things through intensely while at other times they didn’t appear to be doing much.
He says that they are taking small, seemingly innocuous, steps to slowly change Poland’s constitution to one that favors them holding onto power and being about what they believe in. The government no longer works for the people and is instead against many of them. This has been happening in many other countries around the world as well, such as Ukraine and to a certain extent in the United Kingdom and the United States as well.
Choudhry is a law professor. He has taught about constitutions since 2014 at the University of California, Berkeley. Over-all he has been a professor for almost 20 years. He also launched the Center for Constitutional Transitions in 2012 (constitutionaltransitions.org). This is an organization that provides evidence-based information to people who are designing constitutions for their nations or are trying to change them.
More about Choudhry on http://sujitchoudhry.com/about/
He often attends conferences, symposiums, and workshops about constitutional matters in other nations. He has also lectured internationally. He says that he often facilitates public dialog sessions about constitutions with civil groups and other people who have a stake in a nation’s constitution. Over the course of his career he has also assisted in training civil servants and he has held talks with political party leaders and parliamentarians among other duties. More on blogs.law.nyu.edu.
Connect with Choudhry on LinkedIn.