Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-1-2019

Publication Citation

26 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 673 (2019)


In 2017, the prevailing political party in Poland, Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwos6), proposed a series of radical legislative changes designed to strip the Polish judiciary of its independence. Though the European Union (EU) has extensively investigated this egregious attack on the rule of law, no concrete steps have been taken to impose sanctums on, or otherwise discipline, the Polish government for defying EU ideals. Despite the fundamental importance of judicial independence in maintaining the rule of law, there are presently no widely adopted international standards of judicial independence. Therefore, no guidelines are promulgated for governments to follow, and no well-executed path of action exits to shepherd wayward countries back into compliance. Something must be done. This paper seeks to explore the history behind the current judicial crisis in Poland, the possibility of implementing concrete international standards of judicial independence, and the feasibility of enforcement mechanisms driven by private actors.