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Constitutional Tribunal – hearing on the rules of remunerating judges postponed. Left MPs comment

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On Tuesday, the Constitutional Tribunal postponed the hearing on the budget-related law for 2023 on the rules for determining judges’ remuneration. According to the chairman of the adjudicating panel, the reason was a recent request from the prosecutors’ trade union. Earlier, a conference on this matter was held in front of the Constitutional Tribunal building. – It is a very convenient excuse to rule on cases of judges of common courts, because you can fill your pockets at the same time – said MP Krzysztof Śmiszek. As he pointed out, “the amount of the planned increase for Mrs. Julia Przyłębska, who calls herself the president of this court, is PLN 10,000.”

Constitutional Court on Tuesday, he postponed the hearing on the budget-related act for 2023 on the rules for determining judges’ remuneration.

– The decision that the Constitutional Tribunal was forced to make today is not an easy one. On the one hand, the matter is probably clear and appears to be well explained from the letters submitted by the parties to the Tribunal. On the other hand, there is a request from the professional organization of prosecutors and the principles of procedural economics mean that a case concerning the same subject of control should be examined together, if only so that we do not have to repeat procedural activities – said the chairman of the five-member panel of the Constitutional Tribunal adjudicating on this case, judge Bartłomiej Sochański .

Therefore – as Judge Sochański said – the panel adjudicating in this case will ask the president of the Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Przyłębska, “to make a decision as quickly as possible on the possible merger of these cases.” The hearing has been adjourned without a date for now.

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Judge of the Constitutional Tribunal Bartłomiej SochańskiTVN24

Left: They quarreled while debating their gigantic pay raises

On this matter, a conference of MPs from the Left Club – Krzysztof Śmiszek and Tomasz Trela ​​- was held in front of the Constitutional Tribunal building in the morning. As they pointed out, “those people who sit in this building will decide about their own pockets.” – They will decide whether they are entitled to huge increases – they emphasized.

Śmiszek quoted some numbers. – 14. This is the number of working days of the Constitutional Tribunal in 2023 in terms of sessions and hearings. 10 thousand. This is the amount of the planned increase for Mrs. Julia Przyłębska, who calls herself the president of this court. 43 thousand. This will be Julia Przyłębska’s salary after the raise. Eight thousands. This is a planned raise for judges, as well as those who are understudies and doubles of understudies. 35 thousand. This is how much these people will earn after the planned increase, said the MP from the New Left.

– Today they will rule and argue, as I understand it, while they debate their gigantic pay rises – he added.

“Using the situation for private purposes and to line one’s pockets”

At the same time, the MPs emphasized that the case did not concern only judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. – Judges of common courts perform a gigantic job. These are millions of cases submitted to Polish courts every year. And of course, these increases should go to those who work, but not to lazy people, not to shirkers, as was the case today in the Constitutional Tribunal – they said.

– This is all sick and upside down. How do they not have shame and some sense of embarrassment and decency to judge their own case? – Śmiszek pointed out.

– It is also a very convenient excuse to rule on cases of judges of common courts, because at the same time you can fill your pockets and get a pay raise, but what decent institution has the nerve to increase its salary by eight or 10 thousand zlotys? This is actually taking advantage of the situation for private purposes and to line one’s pockets, he added.

Left: raises should go to those who work, but not to lazy people as in TK TVN24

Act on the principles of determining the remuneration of judges

The Act on special solutions for the implementation of the Budget Act for 2023 is closely related to the Budget Act and includes, among others: rules for determining and financing benefits for teachers, the amount of contributions to social funds and the social benefits fund, and rules for determining the remuneration of judges and prosecutors, as well as persons holding public managerial positions, persons managing certain companies and persons managing certain legal entities.

In accordance with the general principle of remuneration of judges specified in the laws relating to the court system, “the basis for determining basic salary a judge in a given year is the average remuneration in the second quarter of the previous year, announced in the Official Journal of the Republic of Poland, Monitor Polski, by the President of the Central Statistical Office. The remuneration of a judge is the product of this base and a multiplier depending on the position held by the judge.

However, the contested provisions assumed that “in 2023, the basis for determining the basic remuneration of a judge (…) is the amount of PLN 5,444.42”.

SEE ALSO: Przyłębska, Manowska, Święczkowski, Muszyński… estates of the third power

In the second half of December last year, this solution was appealed to the Constitutional Tribunal by the 1st President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata ManowskaPresident of the Supreme Administrative Court Jacek Chlebny and the National Council of the Judiciary.

“By introducing an episodic regulation included in the budget-related act, instead of permanent rules for remunerating judges, the legislator actually reduced the indexation of judges’ remuneration adopted in the first provisions. The average gross remuneration in the second quarter of 2022 announced in the announcement of the President of the Central Statistical Office of August 9, 2022. amounted to PLN 6,156.25,” argued the president of the Supreme Administrative Court.

The First President of the Supreme Court emphasized that the challenged provisions violate the constitution because “they base the model of shaping judges’ remuneration on the discretionary – in a given year – determination of the basis for this remuneration, which means total dependence of the judicial authority on other authorities, in particular the legislative authority.” “The introduction of the contested solution means that the adopted model for shaping judges’ remuneration is no longer automatic and objective, as it is subject to annual, and therefore to some extent unpredictable, determination by the legislator,” said President Manowska.

And the President of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata ManowskaTVN24

The National Council of the Judiciary reminded that “the limitation of the statutory indexation of judges’ and prosecutors’ remuneration to a level lower than that resulting from the applicable legal basis has been taking place for the third year in a row.” In addition to the regulations on the remuneration of judges of common and administrative courts and the Supreme Court, the Council also challenged those regarding the remuneration of Constitutional Tribunal judges. These provisions have analogous wording.

In April, in an opinion sent to the Constitutional Tribunal, the Minister of Finance, Magdalena Rzeczkowska, assessed that a ruling on the unconstitutionality of the contested provisions of the budget-related act “would have multidimensional effects, including economic ones.”

“Savings in state budget expenditure for 2023 due to determining the basis for determining the remuneration of judges and prosecutors, assuming an increase adequate for the entire budget sphere at the level of 7.8%, amounted to a total of approximately PLN 750 million, of which approximately PLN 512 million concerns judges’ remuneration (…). The remaining amount constitutes savings in expenses for prosecutors’ remuneration,” wrote Minister Rzeczkowska. She added that “an increase in state budget expenditure in 2023 by PLN 750 million would result in an increase in state budget public debt and debt of the general government sector by approximately PLN 0.8 billion, i.e. 0.02 percent. GDP”.

Constitutional CourtTVN24

A month ago, the Trade Union of Prosecutors and Prosecutor’s Office Employees appealed against another – analogous provision of the budget-related act – relating to the basis of the basic salary of prosecutors. At the same time, the prosecutors’ union then requested that the Constitutional Tribunal consider all four applications regarding the remuneration of judges and prosecutors together.

The Sejm in its submission in July this year In his position, he requested the Constitutional Tribunal to recognize the provisions as consistent with the constitution. On the other hand Ombudsman Marcin Wiącek, who joined this case in the Constitutional Tribunal, requested that these provisions of the budget-related act be declared unconstitutional.

Main photo source: TVN24



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