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Being part of the European Union’s judicial area, the judiciary of the Republic of Lithuania cannot stay on the outside reacting to the threatened independence of the judiciary of the Republic of Poland. Lack of such independence has already affected the mutual trust of courts of Poland and other European Union Member States. A resolution adopted by the European Parliament on 17 September 2020 proposed the Council of Europe to pass a decision identifying a clear risk of violations of the principle of the rule of law in the Republic of Poland and to undertake necessary measures to address the issue of these violations.

Recognising the values of democracy, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights, the Lithuanian judge community expresses concern about the violations of independence of the judiciary by the Polish political authorities, which threaten the underlying principles of the rule of law. We support the judges, lawyer community and civil society of Poland who oppose the judicial reform carried out by the political authorities in the country in violation of the principles of the rule of law and the independence of courts.

We see the statements of the Head of Government of the Republic of Lithuania about Lithuania’s support to the judicial reform carried out by the Polish authorities as resulting from the tense pre-election period and we dissociate from any statements supporting this reform. The pragmatic aim to sustain a close relationship of cooperation between the states cannot be a reason for denying the underlying values of democracy. We hope that the strategic foreign and domestic policies of Lithuania based on the promotion of common European values will remain strong and consistent.

Judicial Council/Teisėjų taryba

21 September 2020