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Cracow. Minister Adam Bodnar initiated the procedure for dismissing the president and vice-president of the Krakow Court of Appeal

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Minister of Justice Adam Bodnar initiated the procedure for dismissing the president of the Court of Appeal in Kraków, Zygmunt Drożdżejka, and the vice-president of this court, Katarzyna Wysokińska-Walenciak. At the same time, they were suspended from performing their duties – the Ministry of Justice announced on Wednesday.

The ministry’s statement shows that the decision was made after “careful review of the documents regarding the court’s situation, as well as the rulings of the Supreme Court (…) questioning the status of Judge Katarzyna Wysokińska-Walenciak as an independent and impartial judge due to the circumstances surrounding her appointment to the appellate court.” . “Similar judgments, issued by the Court of Appeal in Kraków, exist in legal transactions regarding judge Zygmunt Drożdżejko” – the release added.

“Therefore, Minister Bodnar submitted a justified request to the board of the Court of Appeal in Kraków to express an opinion on the dismissal of the above-mentioned presidents from their functions,” the press release said.

Supreme Court rulings question judge’s status as “independent and impartial”

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The Minister of Justice noted that the decision to initiate the procedure for dismissal and suspension of the Management of the Court of Appeal in Krakow was made after “careful review of the documents regarding the situation of the court, as well as the judgments of the Supreme Court (…) questioning the status of judge Katarzyna Wysokińska-Walenciak as an independent and impartial judge due to the circumstances surrounding her appointment to the court of appeal.

See also: Bodnar dismissed 10 district and regional prosecutors

“Similar judgments, but issued by the Court of Appeal in Kraków, exist in legal transactions regarding judge Zygmunt Drożdżejko (…). A situation in which judgments issued with the participation of persons performing such high functions in the judiciary may be challenged by the parties based on the allegation of incorrect court staff undoubtedly undermines the authority of the justice system,” the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.

Court of Appeal in KrakówArt Service 2/PAP

MS: court presidents may be dismissed in the event of “gross or persistent failure to fulfill official duties”

The Ministry of Justice would like to remind you that in accordance with the Act on the Organization of Common Courts, the president and vice-president of a court may be dismissed by the Minister of Justice during the term of office, among others. in the event of “gross or persistent failure to perform official duties” and “when continuing to perform the function cannot, for other reasons, be reconciled with the good of the administration of justice.”

The Ministry draws attention to the fact that in 2017, i.e. during the term of office of the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro, there was a change in the provisions of this Act, which, on the one hand, enabled the arbitrary dismissal of presidents and vice-presidents of courts by the Minister of Justice within 6 months of the entry into force of the amendment. The change also eliminated the influence of judicial self-government bodies on choice presidents and vice-presidents of courts.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the appointment of the president of a court “in a manner that raises fundamental constitutional doubts is of particular importance when establishing the connection of the person so appointed with representatives of the executive power or representatives of specific political groups.”

“In the opinion of the Minister of Justice, such a situation exists both in relation to SA judge Zygmunt Drożdżejko and SA judge Katarzyna Wysokińska-Walenciak, as indicated by the detailed analysis of the circumstances surrounding their appointment as court judges carried out in the applications to the Board of the Court of Appeal in Krakow. appeal,” the statement emphasized.

Adam BodnarPAP/Rafał Guz

Procedure for dismissing the presidents of the Courts of Appeal in Warsaw and Poznań

January 18 this year Ministry of Justice initiated the procedure for dismissing judge Piotr Schab from the position of president of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw. At the same time, Judge Schab was suspended from his duties. “Taking into account that Judge Piotr Schab has repeatedly abused his power – both while performing administrative functions in the justice system and as a disciplinary spokesman – the Minister of Justice concluded that his continued performance of both of these functions directly threatens the good of the justice system, both as a generator of a chilling effect against judges, as well as the real possibility of applying so-called soft measures of administrative repression against them,” the Ministry of Justice justified in its announcement.

On January 19, Minister Bodnar, after a positive opinion of the SA board in Poznań, issued a final decision to dismiss the president of this court, Mateusz Bartoszek, and vice-presidents Sylwia Dembska and Przemysław Radzik.

Judge Piotr SchabTVN24

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

Main photo source: Art Service 2/PAP



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