Right-Wing Legal Mobilization in Central and Eastern Europe. Example of Poland

Since the populist takeover in CEE countries, scholars have focused on women’s rights, using terms such as anti-gender mobilization or gender backlash. These terms primarily refer to policies carried out by populists. Nevertheless, over the last few years in CEE, women’s rights and freedoms have been intensely challenged also before the Constitutional Courts, particularly reproductive rights and freedom from violence. I put forward the thesis that institutions of liberal democracy, such as constitutional courts, which were established to protect liberal rights and freedoms, are now being used to restrict them. Moreover, right-wing organizations use legal mobilization mechanisms to restrict women’s rights. In my presentation, I will indicate how ideologically motivated rulings were possible, and I will reconstruct the actions of right-wing organizations and ways of influencing the Polish Constitutional Court.