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Adam Bodnar wants to dismiss the management of three courts – in Rzeszów, Warsaw and Krosno. This includes Rafał Puchalski

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The head of the Ministry of Justice initiated an appeal procedure against people from the management of three courts. Among them is the president of the Court of Appeal in Rzeszów, Rafał Puchalski, vice-chairman of the new National Council of the Judiciary.

In messages published on the website Ministry of Justice informed that the head of MS Adam Bodnar initiated appeal proceedings against persons from the management of three courts: the Court of Appeal in Rzeszów, the District Court in Krosno and the District Court in Warsaw.

Bodnar wants to dismiss judges Puchalski and Pawłowski

In the case of SA in Rzeszów, these are its president Rafał Puchalski, who is also vice-chairman of the new National Council of the Judiciary, and vice-president Józef Pawłowski.

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The first step of this procedure involves submitting a request to the board of the Rzeszów Court of Appeal to express an opinion on this matter. At the same time, the head of the Ministry of Justice – as the ministry reported – suspended both presidents from their duties.

“With respect to judges: Rafał Puchalski and Józef Pawłowski, the request of the Minister of Justice was justified by the lack of participation of the self-government formed by all judges of the Court of Appeal in Rzeszów in their election to the position of president and vice-president of the court,” the Ministry of Justice said.

The ministry also recalled that in 2017 – under the previous management of the ministry Zbigniew Ziobro from Sovereign Poland – the provisions of the Act on the system of common courts were changed, which eliminated the influence of judicial self-government bodies on choice presidents and vice-presidents of courts.

“This led to a situation in which the Minister of Justice began to appoint people who did not have sufficient judicial and managerial experience as presidents and vice-presidents of courts. Candidates for presidents and vice-presidents of courts were selected on a non-substantive basis, which in many cases significantly lowered the standard of court management,” it said. ministry.

The Ministry of Justice also added that the request to dismiss Puchalski and Pawłowski was justified by their signing of lists of support for judges candidates for the new National Council of the Judiciary – as the ministry pointed out – incorrectly shaped by the Act of December 8, 2017.

“Another ground for the appeal is the fact that Judge Rafał Puchalski, by resolutions of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of March 6, 2018 and May 12, 2022, was twice elected a member of the National Council of the Judiciary, in a situation where the term of office of the previous National Council of the Judiciary was interrupted contrary to the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland” – added in message.

The Ministry of Justice also indicated that an additional argument is that the participation of Puchalski and Pawłowski in the competition procedure before the current National Council of the Judiciary took place in a situation in which – at least since November 19, 2019, i.e. after the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, “it was widely known among judges that the National Council of the Judiciary, established by the Act of December 8, 2017, does not meet the criteria of independence from the executive and legislative power.

“The District Court in Warsaw is ineptly managed”

Moreover, the ministry, citing similar arguments, announced the initiation of appeal procedures against the president of the District Court in Warsaw, judge Joanna Przanowska-Tomaszek, and the vice-presidents of this court, judges Patrycja Czyżewska, Małgorzata Kanigowska-Wajs, Radosław Lenarczyk, Agnieszka Sidor-Leszczyńska and Marcin Rowicki.

The Ministry of Justice also referred to the appeal of 129 judges to dismiss the management of the Regional Court in Warsaw. “The appeal stated that the president of the District Court did not respect court decisions regarding the reinstatement of suspended judges, and the District Court in Warsaw itself is ineptly managed, and the problems faced by judges and employees are not being solved. It was indicated that the current management The District Court in Warsaw does not represent judges adjudicating in this court, nor does it ensure constitutional standards in this respect,” the ministry said.

Additionally, the ministry reported that Bodnar sent a request to the board of the District Court in Krosno to express an opinion on the dismissal of judge Grzegorz Furmankiewicz from the position of president of the District Court in Krosno and judge Maria Olszewska from the position of vice-president of this court.

The minister suspended both the presidents and vice-presidents of the SO in Warsaw and Krosno mentioned in the announcements.

The ministry also recalled the provisions of the Act on the Organization of Common Courts, according to which the president and vice-president of the court may be dismissed by the head of the Ministry of Justice during the term of office, among others, if continuing to perform their functions cannot be reconciled with the good of the justice system for other reasons.

The procedure for dismissal from the above-mentioned positions begins with the minister submitting a justified request to dismiss persons performing the functions of the president or vice-president of the court to the board of the competent court, which in such a situation is obliged to issue an opinion on the minister's action, and the minister may suspend the action until the request is considered. persons concerned by the application in the performance of their duties.

Main photo source: PAP/Paweł Supernak



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