WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s top court ruled Thursday that it is unconstitutional for the country’s human rights ombudsman to remain in the job indefinitely after his term expired.
The ruling by the pro-government Constitutional Tribunal paves the way for the removal of the current acting ombudsman, Adam Bodnar. His term ended in September.
The ombudsman’s office is an independent institution that safeguards the civil rights of individuals and can represent them in disputes with government authorities.
The court ruled that a law that had allowed Poland’s human rights ombudsperson to remain in office until a successor is found was imprecisely worded and lacked time limits. The Constitutional Tribunal gave lawmakers three months to amend the law.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party has been critical of Bodnar, but it has been locked in a stalemate with the opposition over the choice of his successor. The right-wing party had challenged the law in the constitutional court while Bodnar remained in office in an acting capacity,