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Between Fear and Hope: Poland’s Democratic Lessons for Europe (and Beyond) - Wojciech Sadurski, Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown (Oxford University Press2019) 304 pp. English.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 December 2019


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Book Review
© 2019 The Authors 

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Director, Democratic Decay & Renewal (DEM-DEC); ⟨⟩; Assistant Director, Melbourne School of Government.


1 In the English language see, for instance, a collection of chapters by Lech Garlicki, Mirosław Granat and Andrzej Szmyt in the edited collection Szmyt, A. and Banaszak, B. (eds.), Transformation of Law Systems in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe in 1989–2015 (Gdańsk University Press 2016)Google Scholar. See also Bernatt, M. and Ziółkowski, M., ‘Statutory Anti-Constitutionalism’, 28 Washington International Law Journal (2019) p. 487 Google Scholar.

2 See ‘Author Interview: Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown’ IACL-AIDC Blog (17 May 2019) ⟨⟩ last visited 17 November 2019.

3 Krastev, I., ‘The Strange Death of the Liberal Consensus’, 18(4) Journal of Democracy (2007) p. 56 at p. 56Google Scholar.

4 Daly, T.G., ‘Democratic Decay: Conceptualising an Emerging Research Field’, 11 Hague Journal on the Rule of Law (2019) p. 9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 Huq, A.Z. and Ginsburg, T., How to Save a Constitutional Democracy (University of Chicago Press 2018) p. 77 Google Scholar.

6 Khaitan, T., ‘Executive aggrandizement in established democracies: A crisis of liberal democratic constitutionalism’, 17(1) International Journal of Constitutional Law (2019) p. 342 at p. 343CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

7 At p. 26.

8 See Bernatt and Ziółkowski, supra n. 1.

9 See Daly, supra n. 4, p. 28 ff.

10 At p. 12.

11 Scheppele, K.L., ‘Autocratic Legalism’, 85 University of Chicago Law Review (2018) p. 545 at p. 547Google Scholar.

12 See e.g. Albert, R. and Pal, M., ‘The Democratic Resilience of the Canadian Constitution’, in Graber, M. et al. (eds.), Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? (Oxford University Press 2018)Google Scholar.

13 See Koncewicz, T., ‘The Capture of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal and Beyond: Of Institution(s), Fidelities and the Rule of Law in Flux’, 43 Review of Central and East European Law (2018) p. 116 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and ‘Polish Judiciary and the Constitutional Fidelity. “In Judges We Trust”?’, in J. Giezka et al. (eds.), Nowa Kodyfikacja Prawa Karnego Tom XLIII: Księga Jubileuszowa Profesora Tomasza Kaczmarka (Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego 2017).

14 ECJ 25 July 2018, Case C-216/18 PPU, Minister for Justice and Equality v LM, ECLI:EU:C:2018:586; ECJ 24 June 2019, Case C-619/18, Commission v Poland, ECLI:EU:C:2018:910; and ECJ 5 November 2019, Case C-192/18, Commission v Poland, ECLI:EU:C:2019:924.

15 At p. 186, citing B. Bugarič, ‘Central Europe’s Descent into Autocracy: On Authoritarian Populism’, CES Harvard Open Forum Paper Series 2018–2019, p. 6; now also published in 17 ICON (2019) p. 597.

16 For discussion of these issues, see Daly, T.G. and Jones, B.C., ‘Parties versus Democracy: Addressing Today’s Political-Party Threats to Democratic Rule’, International Journal of Constitutional Law, forthcoming Google Scholar.

17 ‘What happens after the Polish Elections? An Interview with Wojciech Sadurski’, Verfassungsblog 18 August 2019.

18 See J. Cienski and Z. Wanat, ‘5 takeaways from the Polish election’, Politico 15 October 2019.