MEDEL

The World Coalition Against Death Penalty, of which MEDEL is a member, issued today the attached statement on COVID-19 and its impact on the use of the death penalty worldwide.

It was also decided to present it as a written statement for the upcoming United Nations Human Rights Council's 44th session.

MEDEL fully subscribes and supports this statement and initiative.

E-book "Justice and Challenges in Times of Pandemic in Europe"MEDEL gathered the communications and notes of speakers presented in the webinar “Justice and Challenges in Times of Pandemic in Europe”, held on May 6th, 2020, and organised by our portuguese member association Sindicato dos Magistrados do Ministério Público (SMMP), with the collaboration of MEDEL.

The goal of the webinar and this publication is to give an overview of the situation in 10 different countries – what was done, how did the judiciaries react and what challenges and shortcomings can be identified.

MEDELMEDEL has sent a letter to EU Commissioners Vera Jourova and Didier Reynders, about the disciplinary proceedings against Polish Judge Igor Tuleya, demanding an immediate action from the European Commission:

To Her Excellency Ms. Vera Jourová, European Commissioner of Values and Transparency and His Excellency Mr. Didier Reynders, European Commissioner of Justice.

Your Excellencies, While the whole legal community in Europe welcomed the European Court of Justice’s decision of 8 April 2020 obliging Poland to suspend the activity of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court with regard to disciplinary cases concerning judges, Polish authorities openly ignore it.

Turkish LettersAs a way of reaffirming our solidarity, our Polish member association, Iustitia, has made a video with images of detentions in Turkish courts after the coup in Turkey and with judges and prosecutors from all over Europe, reading some of the letters.

MEDELMarking the date of Giovanni Falcone’s assassination by the Mafia in 1992, MEDEL pronounced the 23rd of May as the alert day for the independence of justice in Europe. On this date, we are invited to reflect on the need for an independent and effective justice all over Europe and its importance for the safeguard of European citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms.

Very dark signs have arisen all over Europe in recent years, inside and outside the European Union. However, in no place as in Turkey did we witness such an orchestrated and premeditated campaign to completely destroy the independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law. Since the attempted Coup d’État of July 15th, 2016, all Judges, Prosecutors and Lawyers who had constantly struggled for an independent justice have been persecuted, arrested, dismissed and have seen their property seized without any previous due process and with absolutely no guarantees of defense. 

Filipe MarquesAlert Day for the Independence of Justice: an article by the president of MEDEL - lessons we must learn from History about the importance of protecting the independence of the Judiciary.

Ao longo da história, neutralizar e manipular tribunais e outras instituições independentes foi sempre um passo essencial da estratégia dos líderes autocráticos para consolidar o poder.

Este ano honramos mais uma vez a memória de Giovanni Falcone, o juiz italiano assassinado pela máfia em 23 de maio de 1992, assinalando esta data como o Dia de Alerta para a Independência da Justiça.

giovanni-falconeOnce again, MEDEL honours the memory of Giovanni Falcone, the Italian judge assassinated by the mafia on May 23rd, 1992, by marking this date as the Alert Day for the Independence of Justice.

All over Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic showed the fragile situation of judicial systems to cope with exceptional times, when they are most needed to ensure respect for the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens.

Filipe MarquesThe President of MEDEL gave an interview to the website Cosmocène about the attacks against the Rule of Law in Poland and Hungary.

MEDEL

MEDEL welcomes the decision of the European Court of Justice of 8 April 2020 obliging Poland to suspend the activity of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court with regard to disciplinary cases concerning judges.

The court pointed out that the fact that the independence of the Sąd Najwyższy may not be guaranteed is likely to cause serious damage to the EU legal order, to the citizens’ rights and to the values set out in Article 2 TEU, on which the EU is founded, in particular the rule of law. Consequently, the application of the national provisions at issue, in as much as they confer jurisdiction for ruling in disciplinary cases concerning judges of the Sąd Najwyższy and of the ordinary courts to a body, namely the Izba Dyscyplinarna, whose independence might not be guaranteed, is likely to cause serious and irreparable harm to the EU legal order.

MEDELLast months and weeks turned upside down the world as we know it. Thousands of people already lost their lives as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many more are struggling with the disease, we all live in fear for health – our relatives’ and ours. Inevitable economic crisis will strike everyone, we will face multitudes of unemployed, many will fall into extreme poverty. We enter this new reality with fear, remembering the not so distant history, especially of the economic crisis in the 30’s decade of last century, which became the breeding ground for populism and nationalism resulting in the great tragedy of World War II.

These experiences gave us a lesson of the need for international collaboration and solidarity and of the key role of democracy, separation of powers and human rights.

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