Incapacitated but Necessary. The Constitutional Tribunal in the Hands of Politics

The goal of the paper is to draw attention to the changes in the constitutional judiciary in Poland which took place last year (2020- 2021) and the impact of the degradation of the Tribunal on the doctrine of liberal constitutionalism. The Tribunal in the current composition, as well as the ruling majority, have abandoned a certain game of appearances resulting from the existence of the constitutional court. The connection between the Tribunal and the government is evident, for example in the dispute over authority cases and the abortion case. The paradox of the position of the Constitutional Tribunal in an illiberal democracy in Poland is that despite the degradation of the position of this court, it is still a necessary institution. In some situations, it is an institution that is necessary for the government to achieve its goals. To some degree, ordinary courts are taking over the function of constitutional review and adjudicate on issues of great importance for human rights.