“we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”
When Winston Churchill spoke these words on July 4th, 1940, the evacuation of British, French and Belgian soldiers from Dunkirk was on the home stretch. Despite all the odds the evacuation turned out to be a success. Nevertheless it was a defeat, painful and costly.
France was falling under the heavy blows of Wehrmacht. Britain lacked everything, most desperately time and fighter planes. The proponents of compromise, of some kind of rotten deal with aggressive Nazi Germany, were growing in number, even in Parliament. The prospects for either a victory or at least for stopping the spinning war machine of the Third Reich were scarce.
But Churchill’s speech was one of those tirades that resulted in changing the history of the world. Without it, there would be neither a victorious Battle of Britain nor any stubborn, lonely resistance of the British Isles against the Nazis for nearly a year.
Why do I mention it?
I do because there are moments and there are values that submit to no compromise, no weakness and no despair.
The repression has started. Targeted harassment of brave judges, independent in adjudicating and courageous in public debate. The harassment aimed at silencing them, and at demotivating their peers.
Hereby I pronounce:
We shall defend the Constitution. We shall defend independence of courts. We shall defend our own independence. We shall defend our common right to free judiciary, fair and independent from politicians. We shall defend these values each day, in the courtrooms, during peaceful demonstrations, in public debate, in resolutions and appeals. Not only we shall defend these values in our work – we will defend them far beyond. We shall defend the Constitution and its enshrined values despite the threat of further repressions and harassment. We shall defend the Constitution notwithstanding the price.
We shall never abandon the independence of courts and judges.
And we shall never leave our Colleagues without help, support and solidarity.