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Judge Dr. Maciej Ferek on the amendment to the act on the National Council of the Judiciary: information about the Senate amendment fell like a bolt from the blue

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The information about the Senate amendment hit me and other judges who had been fighting for the rule of law for six years like a bolt from the blue, said Dr. Maciej Ferek, judge of the District Court in Kraków, in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24. He pointed out that there was another solution “on the table”.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk, asked on TVN24 about his opinion on the Senate amendment he admitted that not everyone likes the amendment to the act on the National Council of the Judiciary, but he trusts Minister Bodnar and, moreover, he is aware that “we will certainly not satisfy everyone.”

The amendment in the version adopted by the Sejm provided that the right to stand for election as a member of the National Council of the Judiciary would not be available to judges appointed after changes to the regulations regarding the National Council of the Judiciary in 2017. However, the Senate unanimously approved the amendment according to which all judges will have the right to vote, regardless of whether they were nominated by the National Council of the Judiciary before or after the change in the regulations in 2017.

Judge of the District Court in Kraków, Dr. Maciej Ferek, said in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 that “information about the Senate amendment fell on him and other judges who had been fighting for the rule of law for six years like a bolt from the blue.” – It's like overturning six years of struggle, struggling with “good change”, in one day – he added.

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Dr. Ferek: Information about the Senate amendment fell on the judges who fought for the rule of law like a bolt from the blue TVN24

Dr. Ferek: what happened for this amendment to appear?

Judge Ferek explained that judges fought for citizens to have the right to an impartial, independent court established by law. When asked why, with the Senate's amendment, citizens would not have this right, he replied that “actually, one may wonder what happened for this amendment to appear?”

– After all, this is a government project submitted in April. The project submitted by the government and passed by the Sejm was about ensuring that neo-judges would not have a passive right. choice to the National Council of the Judiciary – he pointed out.

He explained that this was done because “no one can be a judge in his own case.” – This is the Roman parema that law students learn in their first year. What is at stake in the justice system, the most pressing problem next to the National Council of the Judiciary, are neo-judges. In the future, there must be a law that will return these neo-judges to their previous places, he said.

Dr. Ferek: what happened for this amendment to appear?

Dr. Ferek: what happened for this amendment to appearTVN24

Dr. Ferek: Bodnar now has a boss, political tasks to perform

The judge was asked whether he had confidence in the minister Adam Bodnar, said he “won't answer that way.” – There are two elements of protection in the national order human rights: these are the courts and Ombudsman. Professor Bodnar is no longer the Commissioner for Human Rights, he is a minister. I understand that he now has a boss and political tasks to perform, he pointed out.

– The problem of getting rid of neo-judges and fixing this situation is a huge problem. I am aware of this. She faced something similar Iceland, except that it involved four judges. She dealt with it. We have a problem with one thousand five hundred judges, because I do not touch on the problem of judges who are out of school at all, he added.

– These are the judges who betrayed the principle of independence and impartiality, entered into political bargains and gave their face to the illegal system created by the previous authorities – he explained.

Dr. Ferek: Bodnar now has a boss, political tasks to perform

Dr. Ferek: Bodnar now has a boss, political tasks to performTVN24

Dr. Ferek: what the Senate has done puts the Sejm against the wall

To the comment that leading human rights organizations, including the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the Citizens' Network Watchdog Polska, defend this amendment, and also in connection with the opinion of the Venice Commission, the judge replied that “The Venice Commission wrote much more that the law that came out of Sejm, also eliminates young judges of district courts who had no influence on the fact that when they graduated from school, they were subjected to rape of the constitution and the neo-KRS and they had no choice.

– The Venice Commission distinguished these judges. Moreover, the Venice Commission pointed out – which the Senate did not do at all, and which would be a solution to the current problem – to introduce a census of sitting as a judge. This means that someone could have passive voting rights to the National Council of the Judiciary if they had been a judge for ten years, he said.

– It was on the table. Now what the Senate has done puts the Sejm against the wall. The Sejm can either reject these amendments or accept them. There is no third way, he added.



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