Visiting Professor Michal Krotoszyński Presents “From ‘Legal Impossibilism’ to the Rule of Law Crisis” 

Visiting Professor Michal Krotoszyński from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland presented a lecture to College of Law students last week, “From ‘Legal Impossibilism’ to the Rule of Law Crisis: Transitional Justice and Polish Counter-Constitutionalism.” 

Since 2015, Poland’s Law and Justice political party has significantly altered the composition of the Polish Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the National Council of Judiciary; and expanded the power of the executive branch in relation to the courts. This process – commonly referred to as a period of ‘anti-constitutional populist backsliding’ (Sadurski 2014) – also has a transitional justice dimension. Krotoszynski posits that the cornerstone of this counter-constitutionalism is a myth of ‘legal impossibilism’: a belief in strict constitutional constraints supposedly stopping the parliamentary majority from introducing crucial reforms, including transitional justice measures.