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Constitutional Court. The draft resolution was submitted to the Sejm. This includes: about the understudies and Julia Przyłębska

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A parliamentary draft resolution regarding the Constitutional Tribunal has been submitted to the Sejm. It states, among other things, that “Mariusz Muszyński, Justyn Piskorski and Jarosław Wyrembak are not judges of the Constitutional Tribunal”, and Julia Przyłębska is not entitled to serve as the president of this body. It also includes an appeal to the Constitutional Tribunal judges to resign and thus “to join the process of democratic changes.”

On Monday, the Minister of Justice at a press conference in the Sejm Adam Bodnar and representatives of all groups in the ruling coalition presented the assumptions of projects regarding the comprehensive reform of the Constitutional Tribunal. Shortly thereafter, a package of four projects – a resolution of the Sejm, two acts (on the Constitutional Tribunal and Provisions introducing the Act on the Constitutional Tribunal), as well as an act on amending the Constitution of the Republic of Poland – was posted on the website of the Ministry of Justice.

Also on Monday, the Speaker of the Sejm Szymon Hołownia reported that the resolution regarding the Constitutional Tribunal will probably be considered in the Sejm on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: “It’s high time to get it repaired.” Bodnar on planned changes in the Constitutional Tribunal

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On Tuesday, the draft resolution in the Constitutional Tribunal was posted on the Sejm website as a parliamentary bill. It was signed by MPs from all coalition clubs: KO, PSL-TD, Polski 2050-TD and the Left. The bill has already been assigned a print number and has been submitted for first reading at the Sejm session.

The aim is to “resolve accumulating legal problems”

“The purpose of this resolution is to solve accumulating legal problems regarding the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal in an objective and apolitical way,” it was emphasized in the justification for this project. We read in it that “violations of the constitution and law in the activities of the Constitutional Tribunal have reached a scale that prevents this body from performing systemic tasks in the field of controlling the constitutionality of law, including the protection of human and citizen rights.”

Read more about what is included in the draft resolution regarding the Constitutional Tribunal

“In the opinion of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, the state of inability of the currently functioning body to perform the tasks of the Constitutional Tribunal (…) requires the re-creation of the constitutional court, in accordance with constitutional principles and taking into account the voice of all political forces that respect the constitutional order. The judges of the renewed Constitutional Tribunal should be elected with the participation of voice of opposition groups. Determining the composition should be spread over time so as to confirm the will to create this body without the perspective of the current term of office of the Sejm and Senate,” the draft resolution states.

It emphasized that “public authorities are obliged to comply with the Constitution, and in particular the principle of legalism arising from Article 7 of the Constitution, according to which public authorities act on the basis and within the limits of the law.” “The Sejm of the Republic of Poland is of the opinion that taking into account in the activities of a public authority body the decisions of the Constitutional Tribunal issued in violation of the law may be considered a violation of the principle of legalism by these bodies,” the draft says.

Draft resolution on eliminating the effects of the constitutional crisis of 2015-2023 in the context of the activities of the Constitutional Tribunal

Changes in the composition of the Constitutional Tribunal over the years

The time scope of the resolution dates back to 2015. At that time – on October 8, 2015 – the Sejm of the 7th term elected – primarily with the votes of the then PO-PSL coalition – five new judges: Roman Hauser, Krzysztof Ślebzak, Andrzej Jakubecki, Bronisław Sitek and Andrzej Sokala, who had be the successors of 3 judges whose terms ended on November 6 and 2 judges whose terms ended in December, i.e. during the next parliamentary term.

On November 25, 2015, the Sejm of the new, 8th term adopted the proposals proposed by PIS resolutions stating that they lack legal force choice judges of the Constitutional Tribunal of October 8. On December 2, the Sejm elected Julia Przyłębska, Piotr Pszczółkowski, Henryk Cioch, Lech Morawski and Mariusz Muszyński, nominated by PiS, as judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. The last three were successors of judges whose terms expired in November. These judges were sworn in by President Duda.

On December 3, 2015, the Constitutional Tribunal found that the previous Sejm of the 7th term had elected two Constitutional Tribunal judges in a manner inconsistent with the Constitution (instead of those whose terms ended in December); the election of the remaining three (replacing those whose terms ended in November) was consistent with it. The Constitutional Tribunal also found that the president was obliged to “immediately” take the oath of office from each newly elected judge.

The project refers to understudies

One of the main allegations against the current Constitutional Tribunal is the allegation that the election of three judges is invalid. In this context, judges Mariusz Muszyński, Justyn Piskorski and Jarosław Wyrembak, who were later elected to replace the deceased Henryk Cioch and Lech Morawski, are mentioned.

Therefore, the draft states that 10 resolutions of the Sejm were adopted “in flagrant violation of the law, including the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”, and therefore those resolutions “are devoid of legal force and have not produced any legal effects in them”. provided for”.

These are the resolutions of the Sejm from 2015-2018 and they concerned: the election of Bronisław Sitek and Andrzej Sokala as judges by the Sejm of the 7th term, the finding by the Sejm of the 8th term that the election of Roman Hauser, Andrzej Jakubecki and Krzysztof Ślebzak to the Constitutional Tribunal had no legal force, and the election by the Sejm of the 8th term term of office of Mariusz Muszyński, Henryk Cioch and Lech Morawski to the Constitutional Tribunal, as well as the subsequent elections of Justyn Piskorski and Jarosław Wyrembak.

Draft resolution: Muszyński, Piskorski and Wyrembak are not judges of the Constitutional Tribunal

According to the draft resolution, Muszyński, Piskorski and Wyrembak are not judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. Therefore, numerous judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal are affected by legal defects, and these defects also concern decisions previously made by Cioch and Morawski.

“The Sejm of the Republic of Poland appeals to the judges of the Constitutional Tribunal to resign and thus to join the process of democratic changes,” the draft resolution wrote.

The draft recalls that “due to the situation in the Constitutional Tribunal, on February 15, 2023, the European Commission initiated anti-infringement proceedings against Poland.” “In the opinion of the EC, the Constitutional Tribunal does not meet the criteria of an independent court within the meaning of Article 19 of the EU Treaty,” it was noted.

Draft resolution: the function of the president of the Constitutional Tribunal is held by an unauthorized person

Ministry of Justice, informing about the draft of this resolution on Monday, emphasized that “the resolutions on the election of Constitutional Tribunal judges: Roman Hauser, Andrzej Jakubecki and Krzysztof Ślebzak remain in force.” “These judges have not yet been sworn in by the president,” the ministry reminded.

A separate problem raised in the draft resolution is the status of Julia Przyłębska, who holds the position of president of the Constitutional Tribunal. “The Sejm of the Republic of Poland also recognizes that the position of the President of the Constitutional Tribunal is held by an unauthorized person. Julia Przyłębska has been the head of the Constitutional Tribunal since December 21, 2016, when the President of the Republic of Poland entrusted her with the function of the President of the Constitutional Tribunal. This election, the correctness of which has been repeatedly questioned, was made without prior obtaining required by law resolution of the General Assembly of Judges of the Constitutional Tribunal,” the draft states. Moreover, as it was added, even if it is assumed that Przyłębska was the president of the Constitutional Tribunal, then – according to the authors of the project – her term expired in December 2022, six years after being sworn in.

Moreover, the draft resolution mentions that in recent years there has been “manipulation of the panels of judges” at the Tribunal.

Main photo source: Longfin Media/Shutterstock.com



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