On Thursday, the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court decided to waive the immunity of a judge from the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. This is the first case of this type heard in this Chamber after the issuing of the orders of the First President of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska, which partially limited its operation.
The case to waive the immunity of a judge from Western Pomerania was examined by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court on Thursday at a sitting in camera in a single panel. The private prosecutor, who accused the slander of the judge, requested that the judge be criminally responsible. Judge Jarosław Duś, who was deciding the case on Thursday, decided that the judge’s immunity would not be lifted.
The first case after the orders of the First President of the Supreme Court
Spokesman for the Disciplinary Chamber, Piotr Falkowski, in an interview with PAP, noted that this was the first judge’s case that was substantially resolved after the orders of the First President of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska.
These are the regulations issued last Thursday, which partially limit the functioning of the Disciplinary Chamber. They were issued in connection with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU of July 15, which ruled that the system of disciplinary liability of judges in Poland is not consistent with EU law. Pursuant to these ordinances, new disciplinary cases of judges and immunity cases of judges will be referred to the secretariat of the first president of the Supreme Court, and the course of cases that are already in the Disciplinary Chamber will be decided by its president or the composition to which they have been assigned. These rules are to be applied until appropriate legislative changes, but no longer than until November 15 this year. The First President of the Supreme Court appealed to the authorities in July to undertake legislative work on the disciplinary liability system in Poland.
The decision of Judge Duś to hear the case, as Falkowski emphasized, did not violate the orders of the First President of the Supreme Court and falls within the freedom to decide the course of cases in which the adjudicating panel has already been appointed. – Let us add that the composition and the date were set not only before the order of the first president, but also before the decision of the CJEU – he stressed.
CJEU to suspend the Disciplinary Chamber
On July 14, the CJEU obliged Poland to suspend the application of the provisions concerning, in particular, the powers of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, which started operating under the amendments to the 2017 Act on the Supreme Court. member states to apply interim measures on the judiciary is unconstitutional.
The spokesman of the Chamber, when asked whether the examination of the case was not a breach of this ruling of the CJEU, replied that it should be looked at “in the light of the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal in this case, which, moreover, was initiated by the Supreme Court by presenting a legal question to the Tribunal.”
When asked if the Chamber was not afraid of the financial consequences for Poland in relation to its actions despite the judgment of the CJEU of 15 July, Falkowski replied that “the court is to deal with legal matters, not the political background of such cases”.
He also pointed out that it was the judge of the adjudicating panel that decided to hear the case. – It is very possible that some other judge in a different context, in a different case, will decide that it is the order of the 1st President and the decision of the CJEU that constitute the premises for him to adjourn the case. This cannot be ruled out. There is no common front, no coordination. Each composition decides on its own – he emphasized.
According to the list of the Disciplinary Chamber, a hearing on the immunities of two judges is scheduled for August 26. The case is to be examined by judge Małgorzata Bednarek. Meetings on judges are also scheduled for September 2 and 6. The last of these terms concerns a Supreme Court judge.
Main photo source: Wojciech Olkuśnik / PAP