On September 26 we solemnly reactivated the Center for Constitutionalism and Legal Culture.
The inaugural lecture was given by Professor Miroslaw Wyrzykowski, a retired judge of the Constitutional Court. In it, he recalled the history of the CKiKP, including the enormous merits of the Center in the process of creating the Polish Constitution adopted in 1997.
The inauguration ceremony was accompanied by an exhibition of works by artists from various European countries, who were asked to creatively depict the provisions of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The works were created as part of the project "ChARTer - Explore the Charter of Fundamental Rights through Art" .
The numerous guests who arrived were welcomed by the President of the Institute of Public Affairs Dr. Jacek Kucharczyk. Addressing them, he also justified why the time and place are favorable for the reactivation of such a unit as the Center for Constitutionalism and Legal Culture.
- In Poland, since 2015, there has been a systematic undermining of the key principles of a democratic state of law as stated in the Polish Constitution. The subordination of the Constitutional Tribunal to the ruling party, the abolition of the independent prosecutor's office, or changes to the National Council of the Judiciary subordinating it to the parliamentary majority have been part of these actions. Civil society fortunately did not remain passive in this situation. A special role in sustaining public resistance against further assaults on the rule of law is played by the circles of judges, lawyers or prosecutors, but also by non-governmental organizations - those with a long history, but also the younger ones, formed in response to the actions of the authorities after 2015. The list of these organizations and individuals is very long and it is impossible to list them all in my short speech, but I would like to thank them all here sincerely for these actions, said the ISP president.
He added that the democratic opposition and civil society in Poland have not only the challenge of rebuilding the democratic institutional order, but large-scale and long-term efforts to educate for the rule of law in Polish society.
- With all this in mind, this year we decided to reactivate the Center for Constitutionalism and Legal Culture at the Institute, which is to play not only a research and expert role, but also, and perhaps above all, an educational one, he stressed.
Dr. Kucharczyk recalled that such a center operated at the Institute of Public Affairs for the first decade of PSI's existence from 1995, and was then headed by Professor Miroslaw Wyrzykowski, currently Chairman of the PSI Foundation Council.
The professor will also chair the Advisory Committee of the reactivated Center. Among others, Dr. Hanna Machinska has also agreed to join this committee.
The day-to-day work of the Center will be directed by Dr. Filip Czernicki, an experienced NGO activist and expert lawyer in NGO law, access to the law, and an expert in civil society.
Activities in 2022-24 co-financed by Norwegian Funds under the Active Citizens Program - National Fund