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Judge Cezariusz Baćkowski, disciplinary spokesman, will deal with judges from the neo-KRS

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The Ministry of Justice announced that the head of the ministry, Adam Bodnar, appointed Cezariusz Baćkowski, a judge of the Court of Appeal in Wrocław, as the Disciplinary Spokesman of the Minister of Justice. The new “ad hoc” spokesperson will lead disciplinary cases concerning members of the neo-National Council of the Judiciary. The Ministry of Justice also announced the dismissal of judge Rafał Puchalski from the position of the president of the Court of Appeal in Rzeszów and its vice-president Józef Pawłowski.

The Ministry of Justice announced on Monday the appointment of Judge Cezariusz Baćkowski to the position of disciplinary spokesman. The announcement also listed the names of 18 judges of courts of various instances whose cases are to be handled by Judge Baćkowski. The first one is Judge Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka, chairwoman of the neo-NCJ from 2022, followed by its vice-chairmen, judges Rafał Puchalski and Stanisław Zdun, and then the other members and former members of the neo-NCJ.

“The Association of Polish Judges Iustitia has submitted to the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar a notification of suspicion of disciplinary offences and suspicion of crimes committed by persons who were or still are members of the National Council of the Judiciary established by the Act of 8 December 2017,” the ministry informed in a press release.

“It was also pointed out that there was a possibility of disciplinary offences and crimes being committed by persons who were candidates for members of the National Council of the Judiciary, by persons who signed letters of support for judicial candidates to the National Council of the Judiciary and against proxies of candidates for members of the National Council of the Judiciary established by the Act of 8 December 2017,” it added.

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“Taking into account the allegations raised by the Association of Polish Judges Iustitia and the resolution of the Sejm of 20 December 2023, it was justified, in the opinion of the Minister of Justice Adam Bodnar, to appoint an independent Disciplinary Spokesman to handle the cases of current and former members of the National Council of the Judiciary,” the press service emphasized.

Cezariusz BaćkowskiTVN24

Baćkowski “a guarantee of impartial handling of the matters entrusted to him”

The Minister of Justice may appoint a disciplinary spokesman of the Minister of Justice to conduct a specific case concerning a judge, i.e. the so-called “ad hoc” disciplinary spokesman. So far – apart from Baćkowski – such nomination has been received from Adam Bodnar 39 judges who, as spokespersons, deal with 86 disciplinary proceedings.

Cezariusz Baćkowski – as stated in the press release – is a judge with over 30 years of experience in adjudicating criminal cases. Since July 2008, he has been a judge of the Court of Appeal in Wrocław. He is currently the deputy chairman of the 2nd Criminal Division.

In the past, he served as deputy disciplinary spokesman for the District Court in Jelenia Góra and as an inspector for criminal cases in that court. After being appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal, he ruled on disciplinary cases of judges. He also served as deputy disciplinary spokesman for the Court of Appeal in Wrocław.

“The experience of judge Cezariusz Baćkowski is a guarantee of impartial, independent and professional conduct of disciplinary cases entrusted to him,” the ministry said.

The Minister of Justice dismissed the presidents of the Rzeszów Court of Appeal

The Minister of Justice, Adam Bodnar, also dismissed judge Rafał Puchalski from the position of president of the Court of Appeal in Rzeszów and its vice-president Józef Pawłowski, it was reported. Ministry of Justice. In a statement on Monday, the Ministry of Justice said that the dismissal of the Rzeszów judges was justified by the fact that both had signed letters of support for judges who applied for a job in the unconstitutional National Council of the Judiciary.

“Another premise for the dismissal is the fact that judge Rafał Puchalski was elected a member of the National Council of the Judiciary twice by resolutions of the Sejm of 6 March 2018 and 15 May 2022, 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,” the ministry informed.

The ministry also indicated that judges Puchalski and Pawłowski participated in the competition procedure of the National Council of the Judiciary “but this occurred in a situation in which – at least since November 19, 2019, it was common knowledge among judges that the National Council of the Judiciary did not meet the criteria of independence from the executive and legislative powers.”

The Ministry of Justice announced that the decision to dismiss Rafał Puchalski and Józef Pawłowski was made “after a thorough review of documents concerning the court's situation” in order to prevent “deepening chaos in court management”.

Main image source: TVN24



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