The Commonality v The Divergence:

The rule of law standards and the role and limits of the courtroom

Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Gdańsk

21 June 2021

the Conference will be held online via the platform MS TEAMS



Workshop organized by Professor Tomasz T. Koncewicz on behalf of the University of Gdańsk RECONNECT Work Package 7 Team

9.00 – 9.20 am

Welcome Addresses

Professor Wojciech Zalewski, Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration, University of Gdańsk

Professor Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, University of Gdańsk, Principal Investigator, RECONNECT

Judge Małgorzata Przybylska - Lewandowska, President of the Gdańsk branch of the Polish Judges Association IUSTITIA

9.20 – 9.35 am

How and Why does RECONNECT matter?

Professor Jan Wouters, University of Leuven, Coordinator, RECONNECT

9.35 – 10.00 am

Key - note speech

Professor Tomasz Widłak, University of Gdańsk

The Judicial Virtues and the Rule of Law

Session One

10:00 am - 11:15 am

Setting the Scene



Moderator: Professor Stanisław Biernat, Jagiellonian University, Vice-President of the Polish Constitutional Court

10:00 - 10:15 am

Professor Dimitry Kochenov, Democracy Institute, Central European University, RECONNECT

The Crisis of Values and the European Union: still paddling together?

10:15 - 10:30 am

Professor Laurent Pech, Middlesex University, RECONNECT

Introducing the Grand Rule of Law Debate

10:30 - 10:45 am

Professor Petra Bard, Democracy Institute, Central European University, RECONNECT

Rule of law backsliding. A stress test for mutual trust

10:45 - 11:15 am


11:15 - 11:45 am

Cofee break

Session Two

11:45 am - 12:50 pm

Introducing the Players



Moderator: Professor Emeritus Zdzisław Brodecki, University of Gdańsk, RECONNECT

11.45 – 12.00 pm

Professor Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, University of Gdańsk, RECONNECT

The existential jurisprudence in the defense of the European First Principles.

A view from Kirchberg

12.00 – 12.15 pm

Dr Marcin Szwed, Strategic Litigation Program, Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights

European Court of Human Rights Waiting for the right case(s)?

12.15 – 12.30 pm

dr hab. Maciej Taborowski, Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights

Polish Judges going to Luxembourg. EU law as a shield?

12.30 – 12.50 pm


12.50 – 1.00 pm

Cofee break


Session Three

1.00 - 3.30 pm

Navigating the Battlefield


1.00 - 1.20 pm

Professor Mirosław Wyrzykowski, University of Warsaw, Former Judge of the Polish Constitutional Court

Promise and Reality of the Rule of Law in Poland 1989 – 2021 and beyond

1.20 - 2.30 pm

Judicial Panel

The rule of law in my courtroom
Let the judges speak up!

Moderator: Dr Marcin Michalak, University of Gdańsk, RECONNECT

Panelists: Judge Dorota Zabłudowska, Judge Joanna Hetnarowicz - Sikora, Judge Bogdan Jędrys 


2.30 - 3.15


3.15 - 3.30 pm

Concluding Remarks

Professor Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, University of Gdańsk, RECONNECT



The Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Gdańsk has been one of the leading research and education centres in Poland for almost 50 years, ranked in the highest category of faculties of law and administration in Poland. Activity of the Faculty of Law and Administration refers to the centuries-old tradition of teaching law in Gdańsk. There are 137 academics employed at the Faculty of Law and Administration, including 7 professors, 31 associate professors and 56 doctors of judicial science. They conduct their activities within 16 departments, one independent centre and seven institutes. The Faculty of Law and Administration provides rich education offer, which has been taken up almost 4,400 students.

Fields of study

Law Education in the field of Law is carried out within a five-year unified Master’s programme. The unified full-cycle programme is carried out as a full-time, an extra-mural and a part-time course. Graduates of legal studies are granted the professional title of Master of Law and can apply (after the passed entrance examination) or continue their education on post-graduate studies and thrid cycle studies (PhD program). Criminology It is a modern and pioneering interdisciplinary field of study in the whole country and was set up in 2013. Courses are based on the latest achievements in biology, chemistry, political science, philosophy, law and other disciplines. Studies in this field are carried out as a three-years study programme of the first cycle (Bachelor) and a two-year study programme of the second cycle (complementary Master studies). Programmes are carried out as full-time and extra-mural programmes. Law in Administration and Economy It is the inter-faculty field of studies exploiting fully the potential of the Faculty of Law and Administration, the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Management. Education is carried out as a five-semester study of the second cycle (Master studies). Taxes and Tax Consulting Taxes and Tax Consulting is a new inter-faculty field of study. It is established as first-cycle programme and second-cycle programme. The objective of this programme is theoretical and practical preparation to carry out the activities of tax consulting, which is also the preparation for the professional qualifying examination in this area.

Administration Studies in this field are carried out as a three-year study programme of the first cycle (Bachelor) and a two-year study programme of the second cycle (complementary Master studies). Both courses are carried out as full-time and extra-mural programmes. During the course of study students get familiar with fundamental disciplines of legal knowledge. Insurance It is interdisciplinary course, which was set up in 2019 by the Faculty of Law and Administration and the Faculty of Management as a full-time programme of the second-cycle. Studies in English Programmes in English supplement a rich and diverse education offer of the University of Gdańsk. European Business Administration is a full-time programme lasting 3 years (3 semesters) after which students will be awarded Bachelor’s degree. European and International Business Law was started in academic year 2017/2018 as the second-cycle extramural programme. The Faculty of Law and Administration offers four-year extra-mural doctoral studies in law in English and in Polish language. The Faculty of Law has intensive cooperation with foreign research and education centres. The Faculty’s academics are engaged in the implementation of prestigious research projects. There are numerous winners of scholarships funded by research institutions with distinctive position on the map of the science world. The Faculty of Law participates and organizes many research events of international character and scope. Postgraduate studies organized by the University of Gdańsk give the possibility of acquiring specialized knowledge about selected issues or legislative solutions referring to different branches of law. The educational offer of the Faculty of Law and Administration includes fourteen courses, for example:

  • Post-graduate Studies in Taxes and Tax Law,
  • Post-graduate Studies in the European Union Financial Market Law,
  • Post-graduate Studies in Company Law,
  • Post-graduate Studies in Intellectual Property Law and Law of New Technologies,
  • Post-graduate Studies in Legal Conditions of Running Business Activity.
  • Foreign law schools

In addition, five Foreign law schools offer unique possibility of learning law of selected states:

  • British Law School – founded in cooperation with British Law Centre a joint venture between the University of Warsaw, the University of Cambridge and Juris Angliae Scientia, a British educational charity.
  • American Law School – founded in cooperation with the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
  • French Law School – founded in cooperation with the Faculty of Law Toulouse Capitol 1 University.
  • German Law School – founded in cooperation with the Institute of Eastern European Law of the University of Cologne.
  • Chinese Law School – founded in cooperation with the Chinese University in Beijing: China Youth and Confucius Institute in Gdańsk.

For more on the Faculty consult:

About us


Gdańsk, Sopot and Gdynia build a metropolitan organism commonly referred to as the Tri-City. It is a vast agglomeration stretching over 50 km along the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. The agglomeration is inhabited by more than 1 million people. Gdańsk


Gdańsk is the Polish maritime capital with the population nearing half a million. Gdańsk is the capital of the Pomeranian province and an important administration centre. In the Gdańsk Shipyard was born first Independent Trade Union, “Solidarity”, what triggered the avalanche that toppled communism in Europe. A thousand-year history of Gdańsk can be seen in numerous monuments especially in the old town. Gdańsk cultivates its centuries-long tradition in the field, and it’s nickname of the world capital of amber is well earned. The local masters have developed their own amber processing school, and the quality of their works is unrivalled elsewhere. A contemporary Gdańsk is an open space for everyone, offering a wide range of tourism, culture and sport attractions. Location at the crossroads of important commercial and communication routes, developing sea-port and a mercantile traditions makes Gdańsk a meeting place of many cultures, nationalities and denominations.


Sopot is one of the most charming towns in Poland and one of the most popular Polish seaside and health-spa resort. Sopot has approximately 40,000 inhabitants. It lies between of Gdańsk to the Southeast and Gdynia to the Northwest. Sopot’s biggest summer tourist attraction is the sandy beach, which stretch for 4.5 km. The one of the major attraction is also the longest wooden pier in Europe (515.5 metres), stretching out into the Bay of Gdańsk. In Sopot is located Poland’s most beautiful amphitheatre – Forest Opera and Bohaterów Monte Cassino Street (a promenade that is closed to traffic and leads straight to the Sopot pier). Beside the bustling “Monciak” Boulevard, there are some charming peaceful areas where can be enjoyed Art Nouveau villas, pleasant parks and forests cut through by gorgeous ravines. Over 60% of the city is covered with green areas. It is an excellent place for weekend leisure, family holidays and business meetings.


Gdynia is a developing rapidly harbour city with young sea port. Gdynia is inhabited by almost a quarter of a million people. The entire downtown area of Gdynia was built in the spirit of the avant-garde stream in modernism, what is rare on a global scale. Gdynia can also boast of the sea, beaches, hills, forests right on their doorstep and the highest annual number of sunny days. It is a city with the reliable public transport, safety and availability of services. Every year in Gdynia is organized Gdynia Film Festival – the largest film festival in Poland and the only one which for decades has been promoting Polish cinematography in Europe on a large scale.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under Grant Agreement no. 770142

University of Gdańsk RECONNECT Team

  • Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz
  • Jerzy Zajadło
  • Zdzisław Brodecki
  • Marcin Michalak
  • Olga Śniadach
  • Anna Podolska
  • Krystyna Warylewska

University of Gdańsk RECONNECT Team