Matthes, Claudia-Y. “Judges as activists: how Polish judges mobilise to defend the rule of law.” East European Politics (2022): 1-20.
What research on democratic backsliding often overlooks is that protest against the decline of rule of law also emerges inside state institutions. In Poland, the judges’ associations are using legal means, organising public events and urging the European institutions to stand firm towards the Polish government. In this article, I analyse the judiciary’s collective actions and motivations regarding on- and off-bench mobilisation. Based on in-depth interviews with judges, I show how they focus on litigation but use lobbying and protesting as complementary tools. Moreover, their networking and adaptation of measures to changing circumstances proves their ability to act strategically.