Indiana Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2021

Publication Citation

96 Indiana Law Journal 1060 (2021)


Since 2015, Poland has experienced a backsliding in democratic and rule of law standards. The ruling party, “Law and Justice,” has adopted a series of legislative changes affecting the independence of courts and checks and balances mechanisms. Some reforms were copied from Hungary, which, as the first Member State of the European Union, started the way toward illiberal democracy in contemporary Europe. Despite pressure from international organizations, the process of changes in Poland did not stop. However, it is important to look at methods implemented to dismantling democracy, as they can be used in other countries. This paper also analyzes different forms of domestic and international resistance toward non-democratic changes, including the special role of civil society and lawyers, as well as monitoring and judicial mechanisms used by the European Union.