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Adam Bodnar appointed two disciplinary spokesman for judges, the so-called “ad hoc” advocates

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The Minister of Justice, Adam Bodnar, has appointed judge Grzegorz Kasicki and judge Włodzimierz Brazewicz as disciplinary spokesman for judges – the so-called “ad hoc” spokesman – the Ministry of Justice announced. It was added that they “meet high professional and ethical standards.”

The appointment – as it was added – was based on the institution of spokespersons for the Minister of Justice introduced in the Law on the System of Common Courts. “The named judges meet high professional and ethical standards,” the Ministry of Justice emphasized.

Piotr Schab suspended, but he spoke at the conference. Judge: I am providing information as a president who has not been dismissed

Pursuant to the above-mentioned regulation from the Law on the Organization of Common Courts, “the Minister of Justice may appoint the Disciplinary Spokesperson of the Minister of Justice to conduct a specific case involving a judge.” “The appointment of the Disciplinary Ombudsman of the Minister of Justice excludes another Ombudsman from taking action in the case” – constitutes the Act on the Organization of Common Courts.

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Therefore – as the ministry explained – “once the decision to appoint the Disciplinary Spokesperson of the Minister of Justice is delivered, the spokesmen who have been handling these cases so far lose the right to take any actions in this regard.”

Adam Bodnar Tomasz Gzell/PAP

What are the spokesmen appointed by Bodnar supposed to do?

As the Ministry of Justice noted, the appointed advocates are long-time criminal judges, were appointed to positions “without the participation of the incorrectly formed National Council of the Judiciary” and have been specializing in disciplinary matters for many years. “Additionally, to ensure their impartiality from the point of view of an external observer, the Disciplinary Spokespersons of the Ministry of Justice were appointed from among persons who are not members of judges’ associations,” it was emphasized.

Judge Kasicki, as disciplinary spokesman, is to deal with the case of judges and assessors of the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście, who initiated and conducted enforcement proceedings in cases Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik. In early January, Jakub Izaniec, deputy disciplinary spokesman for the Regional Court in Warsaw, began investigating this matter. This judge will also deal with the charges brought against Krakow judge Edyta Barańska, which have already been brought to the Supreme Court’s Chamber of Professional Responsibility and include, among others: on issues of assessing the status of lower instance judges appointed with the participation of the National Council of the Judiciary, as changed after 2017.

In turn, Judge Brazewicz is to handle the cases of Krakow judges Wojciech Maczuga and Rafał Lisak, against whom disciplinary cases are also pending regarding the assessment of the status of judges appointed by the amended National Council of the Judiciary.

Who are the new spokespeople?

The announcement stated that Judge Kasicki has nearly thirty years of judicial experience, specializes in criminal cases, and has been adjudicating at the District Court in Szczecin since 2004. Judge Brazewicz is a judge with almost thirty-five years of judicial experience, he also specializes in criminal cases, and has been adjudicating at the Court of Appeal in Gdańsk since 2007.

“The Ministry of Justice plans to further review ongoing disciplinary cases, using the institution of ad hoc ombudsmen, in order to verify the validity of the allegations made therein, especially through the prism of international standards,” the ministry’s statement emphasized.

The Ministry reminded that from the judgments CJEU and the ECtHR shows that “the new system of disciplinary proceedings against judges introduced over the last few years does not meet international standards and could be used to influence the content of judgments, as well as to create a chilling effect in order to prevent judges from implementing EU and international law.”

A number of proceedings against judges “raise serious doubts”

“Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against many judges due to questioning the legal status of judges appointed with the participation of the National Council of the Judiciary, which was formed incorrectly, including five who were unjustly suspended from their duties by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court for this reason – Paweł Juszczyszyn, Maciej Ferek, Piotr Gąciarek, Maciej Rutkiewicz and Krzysztof Chmielewski – and disciplinary proceedings were initiated against two judges due to their submission of preliminary questions to the CJEU – Anna Bator-Ciesielska and Agnieszka Niklas-Bibik – which violated Poland’s treaty obligations,” the release recalled.

It was added that, therefore, a number of disciplinary proceedings currently being conducted against judges “raise serious doubts, which applies especially to those proceedings in which the basis for disciplinary charges was the content of procedural decisions made by judges or their questioning of the status of judges appointed with the participation of an incorrectly formed National Council of the Judiciary.” “.

“Moreover, some of these disciplinary proceedings were conducted in a lengthy manner, keeping the affected judges in a state of uncertainty, which in itself undermined their sense of independence,” the Ministry of Justice said.

Reservations regarding the independence and impartiality of the current spokespersons

According to the ministry, the attitude of the disciplinary spokespersons appointed by the previous minister raised doubts as to the level of their independence and impartiality. “The disciplinary spokesman for judges Piotr Schab and his deputies Przemysław Radzik and Michał Lasota, as well as Jakub Izaniec, acting as deputy disciplinary spokesman at the Court of Appeal in Warsaw, signed the so-called letters of support for candidates for the incorrectly formed National Council of the Judiciary, thus showing support for the idea of ​​politicizing the procedure for appointing judges and significantly contributing to the dismantling of the existing constitutional order and undermining the basic guarantees of the independence of the judiciary,” the ministry said.

As it wrote, judges Schab and Radzik “were repeatedly – with negative results – subjected to the independence test by the Supreme Court.” “In turn, judge Izaniec, according to media reports, was to play an active role in the so-called Kasta hate group. Although the existence of the group has not yet been procedurally verified, judge Izaniec is one of two people dismissed from the delegation to the Ministry of Justice immediately after the outbreak of this scandal “- we read in the ministry’s announcement.

Meanwhile, according to the ministry, the judges appointed by the minister on Monday as “ad hoc” spokesmen guarantee “impartial, independent and professional handling of cases, taking into account the standards resulting from the judgments of international tribunals and Polish courts.”

Main photo source: Tomasz Gzell/PAP



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