The Ministry of Justice apologized to Warsaw judge Justyna Koska-Janusz for violating her personal rights. The statement is the result of the judge winning a civil case against the ministry then headed by Zbigniew Ziobro.
“I apologize to Judge Justyna Koska-Janusz for the unlawful violation of her personal rights consisting in violating her good name, exposing her to the loss of her good reputation and accusing her of inappropriate conduct while performing the function of a judge, included in the content of the message published on the official website of the Ministry of Justice entitled: ‘Statement regarding shortening the delegation of judge Justyna Koska-Janusz’ issued in connection with the decision of September 19, 2016 to withdraw the delegation,” reads the statement of the Minister of Justice posted on the ministry’s website.
In April this year Supreme Court in this case, it dismissed the cassation appeal of the head of the Ministry of Justice. Thus, the Minister of Justice finally lost the trial for infringement of personal rights against Judge Koska-Janusz.
“One of the duties of the Minister of Justice is to implement court decisions regarding violations of the law committed by the previous management of the Ministry. In accordance with the court verdict, an apology for violating the personal rights of Judge Justyna Koska-Janusz was published yesterday on the website of the Ministry of Justice,” it said. Ministry of Justice on Friday on his profile on the X platform.
A final judgment
In October 2019, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw legally ruled that the Minister of Justice must apologize to Judge Koska-Janusz for violating her personal rights. In the opinion of this court, the action of the Minister of Justice by publishing the announcement constituted “a public statement of the executive power interfering with the exercise of judicial power by a specific judge.”
The justification for this judgment stated that the court of first instance was right to find that the MS’s announcement violated the personal rights of Judge Koski-Janusz. “Without a doubt, it is impossible not to notice that, taken together, the entire statement clearly puts the plaintiff in a bad light and is of a discrediting nature (…) Generally, the law does not provide for the competence of the Minister of Justice to publicly criticize the work of a judge, much less unjustified criticism that violates personal rights judge,” the court emphasized.
Earlier, the District Court in Warsaw, ruling in this case, found that the Minister of Justice had violated the judge’s personal rights, ordered him to apologize and remove the declaration of withdrawal of delegation from the ministry’s website. The ministry appealed against this verdict.
In the Ministry’s announcement of October 2016 about shortening the delegation of judge Kosce-Janusz, who was the basis of the dispute, it was written that “the Ministry of Justice received information that judge Justyna Koska-Janusz was to demonstrate exceptional incompetence and was completely unable to cope with conducting a very a simple but high-profile case, which was widely commented and criticized in the media. “It was about an incident from December 2013 caused by Izabella Ch., who, under the influence of alcohol, drove a luxury Mercedes into an underpass in the very center of Warsaw. The media blamed Justyna Koska-Janusz, who conducted the proceedings, for leniency towards the accused and incompetence in handling the case “- the Ministry of Justice wrote then in a statement.
“After checking this information, on September 19, 2016, the Minister of Justice decided to shorten the delegation of judge Justyna Koski-Janusz until October 1, 2016, in order to avoid the accusation that such a judge adjudicates in the District Court, where complicated and difficult cases are heard. Only judges with high skills, efficiency and professionalism should adjudicate in the District Court,” said the ministry’s statement posted on the website and distributed to the media.
After the news about the shortening of the delegation was revealed, the media reported that Koska-Janusz also ruled in the case Zbigniew Ziobro, when he accused the former president of PZU, Jaromir Netzel, of defamation, and agreed with Netzel. It was about Netzel’s words before the parliamentary investigative committee investigating the 2007 land scandal, when the former head of PZU said that his telephone conversations with the minister at that time were lost because “Ziobro, then the prosecutor general, took care of it.” During one of the hearings, Judge Koska-Janusz imposed a fine of PLN 2,000 on Ziobro for being late.
Main photo source: TVN24