logo en full


International Conference


The Role of Judicial Powers

in Transitional Legitimization in the CEE.
New political communities and complicated past







Organizers: SWPS University, the European Solidarity Center, Konrad Adenauer Foundation Poland

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Martial Law in Poland (1981-1983), SWPS University and the European Solidarity Centre (ECS) would like to invite all interested parties to an international conference on “The Role of Judicial Powers in Transitional Legitimization in the CEE. New Political Communities and a Complicated Past”. The event will provide a platform for critical reflections on the last thirty years of the post-communist transformation, not only in Poland, but also in the whole region. The conference is part of a research project financed by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The Polish branch of the Foundation is also one of the partners of the conference.

Coordinators of the project include Professor Adam Bodnar, Dean of the Faculty of Law in Warsaw, who also represents SWPS University’s Institute of Law, and Filip Cyuńczyk, Ph.D., Associate Professor of SWPS University, and Jakub Kufel, Ph.D., who coordinates the event on behalf of the European Solidarity Centre.

The conference is open to general audience on the first day of the conference (Tuesday, December 14th). The number of places is limited. Please follow the link below to register.

The second day is devoted to closed sessions, attended by the project participants.

December 14-15, 2021
9.00 CET (UTC+1)
ECS Gdańsk & online

Legal ramifications of the 1981 Martial Law in Poland

The Martial Law imposed in Poland in 1981, has changed the consciousness of Poles and all Europeans. At the time, even Communist parties of the Western Europe decided to openly support the Solidarity movement, which had been founded several months before. The event, dubbed by a Polish historian, Andrzej Paczkowski, “Wojna Polsko-Jaruzelska” (the Poland-Jaruzelski war, which refers to general Wojciech Jaruzelski, who was the main instigator of the Martial Law), still ignites numerous controversies. In particular, the issue of bringing the responsible people to justice still sparks lively discussions and arguments. Therefore, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Martial Law in Poland, SWPS University’s Institute of Law and the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk are opening a discussion on the legacy of this historical event in the Polish law, especially in the context of difficult choices that the judiciary of the post-1989 independent Poland had to face.

The main theme of the conference has been chosen on purpose. Since the beginning of the Polish transformation, the judiciary has been carefully observed, especially by the groups challenging the meaning and achievements of the transformation. The judiciary has been accused of protecting members of the fallen regime, while court rulings and verdicts have been questioned. The issue of accountability for the crimes perpetrated by the Communist regime have fueled all kinds of antiestablishment and populist movements, not only in Poland, but also in Central Europe.


Many lawyers, sociologists, philosophers, politicians and representatives of the arts and culture community, who are acclaimed across Europe, will participate in our conference. The selection of these renowned experts ensures that we take the broadest possible perspective and offer a comprehensive discussion on the matter.

The Mayor of the City of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, will be our special guest.


Jerzy Zajadło – Professor of theory and philosophy of law, a long-standing lawyer of the University of Gdańsk. He has been actively engaged in the protection of the rule of law in Poland, since the beginning of the Constitutional crisis.

Cezary Łazarewicz – journalist, winner of the NIKE award for his book Żeby nie było śladów. Sprawa Grzegorza Przemyka (Leave no Traces. The Case of Grzegorz Przemyk), which has been adapted to screen under the same title.

Monika Nalepa – Professor of the University of Chicago, a world-renowned expert on transitional justice, author of a book Skeletons in the Closet.

Michał Balcerzak – Professor at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. His researcher interests focus on human rights and transitional justice from the perspective of the European Court for Human Rights.

Klaus Bachmann – journalist, researchers, Professor of SWPS University. His research focuses on transitional justice from the perspective of social sciences and political science.

Paweł Osik – advocate, partner at Pietrzak, Sidor & Partners Law Firm in Warsaw. Professionally, he specializes in lustration proceedings (i.e. vetting of government officials in Central and Eastern Europe following the fall of Communism), former collaborator of the Helsinki Foundation of Human Rights, where he coordinated the “Prawa człowieka a rozliczenia z przeszłością” (Human Rights and Redress of the Past) project.

Zoltán Fleck – Professor at the ELTE University in Budapest, sociologist specializing in theory and sociology of law, Head of the Center for Theory and Sociology of Law.

Jānis Pleps – Assistant Professor and Head of the Department of State Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia in Riga, Legal Policy Adviser to the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, and his predecessor Raimonds Vējonis.

Daniel Smilov – Professor of Sofia University (St. Kliment Ohridski), political scientist, constitutional lawyer, Program Director of the Centre for Liberal Studies initiative.

Zdeněk Kühn – Professor of the Charles University in Prague, judge of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic, philosopher and theoretician of law. He also collaborates with the Faculty of Law of the University of Michigan in the United States.

Andreea Vertes – lecturer and researcher at the Western University of Timișoara. Her research focuses on the issues concerning democracy, EU law, and human rights.

Filip Cyuńczyk – Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law of SWPS University, sociologist and historian of law. His research interests include legal regulation of collective memory, and attempts at legal petrification of collective identities in Central Europe after the fall of Communism.


DAY 1: DECEMBER 14, 2021

Languages: English/Polish (for lectures delivered in Polish we will provide English translation)
Location: Temporary Exhibition Hall on the ground floor

09:00-14:00 Participants' arrival in Gdańsk

14:00-15:30 Opportunity to visit the exhibition at the European Solidarity Center

15:30-16:00 Official Opening of the Conference

  • Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of the City of Gdańsk
  • David Gregosz, Director of Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Poland (online)
  • Roman Cieślak, Rector of SWPS University, (online)
  • Basil Kerski, Director of the European Solidarity Center

16:00-17:30 Panel I: Dealing with the past after the Communism – Chair: Basil Kerski

  • The role of the courts in transitional justice implementation – Jerzy Zajadło, University of Gdańsk
  • Unsuccessful reckoning with the legacy of the 1981 Martial Law in Poland: the case of Grzegorz Przemyk – Cezary Łazarewicz, journalist
  • Martial law, secret collaborators, and the lack of possibility to implement transitional justice in Poland – Monika Nalepa, University of Chicago (online)

17:30-17:45 Coffee break

17:45-19:15 Panel II: International, supranational and national dealing with the past – Chair: Tomasz Snarski, University of Gdańsk

  • Individual criminal responsibility for communist crimes in CEE states, the perspective of the European Court of Human Rights – Michał Balcerzak, the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • The European Union and transitional justice – Klaus Bachmann, SWPS University
  • Judges, and the difficult past: the legal profession's perspective – Paweł Osik, the Warsaw Bar Association

19:30-23:59 Dinner

DAY 2: DECEMBER 15, 2021

Language: English
Location: Conference Room no. 5, on the 3rd floor

09:00-9:30 Introductory Session

  • The Central European judicial dealing with the past from German perspective: A couple of comments – Klaus Bachmann, SWPS University

09:30-11:00 Panel I – Chair: Adam Bodnar, SWPS University

  • Rule of law as a weak force of social integration in post-communist states – Zoltán Fleck, Eötvös Loránd University
  • Judicial Power in Latvia: evolutionary development from legal formalism to the guardian of the rule of law – Jānis Pleps, University of Latvia
  • Judicial dealing with the past: Bulgarian perspective – Daniel Smilov, the University of Sofia

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:45 Panel II – Chair: Zoltán Fleck, Eötvös Loránd University

  • Judging the communist past: the case of Czechia – Zdeněk Kühn, Charles University in Prague (online)
  • The Constitutional Court of Romania and its impact on the law on the disclosure of Securitate files – Andreea Vertes, West University of Timișoara (online)
  • The judicial "thick-line"? A couple of comments on the Polish Constitutional Court, decision in case K 22/16 – Filip Cyuńczyk, SWPS University

12:45-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-14:30 Panel III: Lawyers in Transition – Chair: Filip Cyuńczyk, SWPS University

  • Roundtable discussion open to on-site and online participants

14:30-14:45 Coffee break

14:45-15:15 Presentation of the project and information about next steps – Filip Cyuńczyk, SWPS University

15:15-15:45 Closing remarks by Adam Bodnar


MNG logo ENG 400
Konrad Adenauer Foundation


Date and Location

December 14-15, 2021
Europejskie Centrum Solidarności w Gdańsku
pl. Solidarności 1
Hybrid format: On-site and Online


Filip Cyuńczyk, Ph.D., SWPS University
tel: +48 513 021 576
e-mail: fcyunczyk@swps.edu.pl

Jakub Kufel, Ph.D., European Solidarity Centre
tel: +48 785 120 682
e-mail: j.kufel@ecs.gda.pl

International Conferences


Conferences 23-06-2022

China in Contemporary International Relations

The rise of China and its impact on international affairs have been the focus of numerous publications and academic debates around the world. This Conference seeks to move this discussion...

Read more

Conferences Archive

Conferences 14-12-2021

The Role of Judicial Powers in Transitional Legitimization in CEE

History abounds in the names of heroes and exceptional leaders who rose to the challenge in an hour of need, for example: Spartacus, Joan of Arc, John III Sobieski, Queen...

Read more

Conferences 25-11-2021

Online Seminar: Design Stories

History abounds in the names of heroes and exceptional leaders who rose to the challenge in an hour of need, for example: Spartacus, Joan of Arc, John III Sobieski, Queen...

Read more

Conferences 16-06-2021

Effectiveness of Organizational Behaviors in Contemporary Management

Organizational behaviors are some of the most important aspects impacting the effectiveness of private companies and public institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a number of research and practical challenges...

Read more

Conferences 18-05-2021

Diversity Congress 2021

The theme of the 7th edition of the Diversity Congress, organized by Goodbrand/BETTER and Henkel Poland, is “We are only as strong as the weakest among us. How to build...

Read more

Conferences 30-04-2021

11th Polish-Spanish Conference on the European Legal Tradition

SWPS University’s Faculty of Law in Warsaw and the Faculty of Law of Castellon de la Plana University in Spain, in cooperation with other higher education institutions, invite interested parties...

Read more

Conferences 14-04-2021

Cybersecurity Threats – COVID-19 and Disinformation

Disinformation has become ubiquitous in the era of the Internet. The coronavirus pandemic, as a global disruptive event, has created favorable conditions for proliferation of fake news. This poses a...

Read more

Conferences 30-03-2021

SWPS University Partners with Innovation & Design Management Conference

We are pleased to announce that SWPS University has partnered with the organizers of the 2nd Innovation & Design Management Conference. The conference is a platform for sharing knowledge and...

Read more

Conferences 26-02-2021

Academic Freedom and Integrity

SWPS University is pleased to co-host an online seminar of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland that will take place on February 26, 2021. The seminar will...

Read more

Conferences 17-11-2020

5th Open Eyes Economy Summit

The 5th International Conference E-Learning Fusion is the only conference in Poland and the largest one in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) focused on digital learning and digital learning transformation...

Read more

Conferences 09-11-2020

5th Digital Learning Conference and Expo

The 5th International Conference E-Learning Fusion is the only conference in Poland and the largest one in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) focused on digital learning and digital learning transformation...

Read more

Conferences 07-05-2020

Zawartości (Contents)

The Zawartości (Contents) conference is a platform for exchange of ideas. It is the only event of its kind in Poland, providing a meeting space for representatives of science, business...

Read more

Conferences 05-03-2020

Seminar: Heroes and Leaders

History abounds in the names of heroes and exceptional leaders who rose to the challenge in an hour of need, for example: Spartacus, Joan of Arc, John III Sobieski, Queen...

Read more

Conferences 09-12-2019

International Symposium Researching Young Lives 2

The body of knowledge on young people entering adulthood remains fragmented and requires systematization. There is insufficient data about social behaviors, personal and professional experiences, and life choices of young...

Read more

Conferences 29-11-2019

Innovation Transformer

Nowadays, innovation is not limited only to technology or production processes. Sociologists, social activists and regular citizens are interested in social innovations that would improve the lives of communities. The...

Read more

Conferences 21-11-2019

Learning Adventures

The contemporary world is torn between trust in the power of objects, and the everyday reality, where interaction with a touchscreen gives people a sense of agency. Many experiences or...

Read more

Conferences 07-10-2019

Masters & Robots

SWPS University’s Center for Innovation has partnered with the organizers of “Masters & Robots”, to bring this popular event to Warsaw. The annual meetup focuses on exploring the digital transformation...

Read more

Conferences 21-09-2019

Motivational Interviewing yesterday, today and tomorrow

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a directive, goal-oriented client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence. For the past 40 years, the method has...

Read more

Conferences 20-09-2019

9th Annual International Conference on Comparative Law: Morality - Technology - Law

The idea behind the conference is to promote comparative research in social sciences and especially law. We consider private and public law to be the central area of interest, however...

Read more

Conferences 09-09-2019

Accurate diagnosis of FAS/FASD?

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicates that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FAS/FASD) affect 1% of children and youth...

Read more

Conferences 21-06-2019

International Interdisciplinary Conference: Failed Leadership

It is hard to miss the growing preoccupation with leadership and leaders among those who study politics and business. The focus is on the role of individuals in defining directions...

Read more

Conferences 12-06-2019

WE – Innovative Approaches to Community Building

Building lasting relationships in the community is one of the themes of the 3rd Warsaw Improv Festival. The organizers, would like to invite everyone to an academic forum focused on...

Read more

Conferences 31-05-2019

10th Polish-Spanish Conference on the European Legal Tradition

Economic exchange is a crucial element of the contemporary global economy. The first legal system regulating international economic exchange was developed during the time of the Roman Empire. The 10th...

Read more

Conferences 27-05-2019

Normativity and Resilience in Translation and Culture

Norms can be broadly defined as some kind of protection from change, a prescribed standard whose violation involves distortion and deformation, a transformation into something which the normal thing is...

Read more

Conferences 20-05-2019

Facing Shame with Empathy

How do you deal with shame? What role can empathy play in dealing with difficult situations? While the notion of empathy is widely discussed today, shame can be a topic...

Read more

Conferences 26-03-2019

Economics of Memorial Sites: Researching Museums and Memorial Sites

During the seminar on the “Economics of Memorial Sites Researching Museums and Memorial Sites of the Former Nazi German Concentration and Extermination Camps” we will present the idea and the...

Read more

Conferences 22-09-2018

Mathematics Without Barriers 2018

“Breaking Down Barriers” is the main theme of the fifth international East-West Conference on Mathematics Education. The event is addressed to teachers, academics and students interested in a variety of...

Read more

Conferences 13-07-2018

European Initiative for Exercise is Medicine Congress

Physical activity is important in maintaining good health. It is also important in the prevention and treatment of many chronic illnesses. Despite widespread education on the benefits of exercise, the...

Read more

Conferences 09-07-2018

Ageing, Generational Change and Social Solidarity

The world population profile is ageing, with improved social and welfare provision and health care (both state and NGO) and technological, political and cultural changes across authoritarian and democratic societies...

Read more

Conferences 14-06-2018

ETRA 2018

The tenth anniversary of the ACM Symposium on Eye Tracking Research & Applications (ETRA 2018) will be held for the first time in Europe! This edition of ETRA will introduce...

Read more

Conferences 23-05-2018

Warsaw Arbitration & Mediation Days

Disputes are unavoidable in business. This applies also to the dynamically developing economies of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland. Alternative Dispute Resolution methods (ADR) are a modern and efficient...

Read more

Conferences 27-04-2018

9th Polish-Spanish Conference on the European Legal Tradition

Public policy related to social welfare and the transformation of governmental models supporting social welfare systems, from the Roman roots to modern institutions will be the subject of the 9th...

Read more

Conferences 19-04-2018

Free Market Road Show in Warsaw

Europe is changing. Many Europeans are becoming disengaged from the democratic process and there is a lot of disinformation in the media and in the cyber space. These phenomena impact...

Read more

Conferences 16-03-2018

12th International Symposium of Polish Association for Behavioral Psychology

Behavioral therapy focuses on the recognition and modification of undesirable behaviors and on the development and reinforcement of behaviors that are desirable. Various applications of the behavioral therapy will be...

Read more

Conferences 16-03-2018

Autism and Evidence-Based Practice: Interventions and interactions

Practitioners and researchers often use slightly different language when it comes to autism therapy. While therapists and teachers emphasize the need for individual approach and the importance of good clinical...

Read more

Conferences 08-03-2018

Interdisciplinary perspectives on social influence

Social influence provides a core theoretical concept and defines lines of research in many disciplines of science. During the conference on Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Social Influence, renowned scientists, including Professor...

Read more

Conferences 15-12-2017

Creative Economy in Poland: Facts and Myths

The concept of creative economy was developed by John Howkins, at the beginning of the 21st century. It describes economic systems where value is based on novel imaginative qualities rather...

Read more

Conferences 26-10-2017

Cognitive Adventures

Cognition and cognitive processes are as fascinating as they are complex. The seemingly simple questions related to the key mechanisms of cognitive processes, motivation, and the best conditions for learning...

Read more

Conferences 13-10-2017

Crisis of Masculinity – Conference with Prof. Zimbardo at SWPS Unviersity

These days, many psychologists and social scientists proclaim the decline of masculinity and grapple with the problem of defining the role of men in today’s society. Professor Philip Zimbardo addresses...

Read more

Conferences 18-09-2017

Discourses of Historical Education

The ultimate fall of grand universal narratives has brought back organic concepts of nations and ethnicities as dominant answers to crises (financial, demographic, military, populist, and migration). The decisive turn...

Read more

Conferences 24-08-2017

Mathematics Without Barriers

“Overcoming Barriers” is the main theme of the 2017 international East-West Conference on Mathematics Education. The event, which will take place from 24th to 26th of August, at SWPS University...

Read more

Conferences 16-07-2017

From a Cross-Cultural Perspective: Conflict and Cooperation in Shaping the Future of Europe

Europe and its direct geopolitical neighborhood have become a stage for many dramatic events and processes that no one would have dared to predict some years ago. The wars in...

Read more

Conferences 09-06-2017

7th Annual International Conference on Comparative Law: Evolution of Law (?!)

We strongly believe that comparative law is one of the best tools to study changes in law. Some say legal change is ideally evolutionary, however, this is not what we...

Read more

Conferences 19-05-2017

5th Polish Law and Economics Conference

The phrase "law and economics" refers to the application of economic theory to the analysis of law. In this approach economic concepts are used to explain the effects of law...

Read more

Conferences 21-04-2017

The Fifth Edition of Polish Eyetracking Conference

We would like to invite you to participate in the Fifth Polish Eyetracking Conference, which will be held at the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, from April 21st...

Read more

Conferences 12-01-2017

International Symposium Development, Society, Education and Youth

Issues such as global, national and local development initiatives, factors stimulating social change, challenges presented by migration and immigration, and support for young people in the school-to-work transition will be...

Read more

Conferences 14-11-2016

Humans in Situations

The conference invoked the text of one of Professor Tadeusz Tomaszewski's subchapters in the textbook Psychologia (Psychology) from 1975 (Warszawa: PWN). This time we want to consider the issue of...

Read more

Conferences 21-10-2016

International Symposium Researching Young Lives

The body of knowledge on young people entering adulthood remains fragmented and requires systematization. There is insufficient data about social behaviors, personal and professional experiences, and life choices of young...

Read more

Conferences 22-09-2016

Vladimir Nabokov and the fictions of memory

Almost 40 years after Nabokov's death, his texts continue to function as literary Fabergé eggs, in which scholars keep finding hidden surprises and previously overlooked details. As Nabokov wrote in...

Read more

Conferences 02-06-2016

Comics in Culture/Culture in Comics

Comics, as a unique combination of literature and visual arts, spanning from child entertainment, through popculture, to independent artistic expression, are a great source of interdisciplinary research. International conference Comics in CultureCulture...

Read more

Conferences 18-05-2016

Representing Jewish History...

In this era of technological innovations that bring an abundance of new information to a wide audience, historical knowledge has not become obsolete. It may have changed its functions, but...

Read more

Conferences 06-04-2016

Precarious Places

In Guy Standing's now well known comparison of precariat and proletariat, the former may well be called a class in the making rather than a fully formed and organized social...

Read more

Conferences 23-09-2015

Homeliness, Domesticity and Security in American Culture

Recent academic interests and explorations within the field of broadly understood American Studies have been largely concentrating on the unusual and exceptional aspects of American literature, art and life, such...

Read more

Conferences 30-11--0001

New Technologies for the Design of Development & Change

Need a psychological consultation? There is an app for that. Over the past few years, a team of researchers from SWPS University, in cooperation with Norbsoft, have conducted a research...

Read more