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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Judge Waldemar Żurek reinstated to adjudicate in the department from which he was removed. Invalid judgment

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The Katowice District Court reinstated Judge Waldemar Żurek to adjudicate in the department from which he had been transferred and ordered the District Court in Kraków to pay compensation. – The great value of this trial is that the manner of harassment of judges has been documented – said Żurek after the announcement of the non-final judgment.

Thing has been going on for over four years. In 2018, Żurek was transferred to the 1st civil division, functioning as a court of 1st instance, by a court appointed by the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka, the then president of the SO in Kraków, is currently the head of the new National Council of the Judiciary. Part of the judiciary community, as well as the judge himself, considered it harassment.

Żurek filed a lawsuit against the District Court in Kraków in autumn 2018. He demanded “a cessation of mobbing activities” against him, which included “a transfer to another department in violation of the currently applicable regulations”.

The court reinstated Judge Żurek to adjudicate in the department from which he had been transferred

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On Wednesday, the District Court in Katowice issued a verdict in this case. The Krakow court was ordered to “entrust the plaintiff Waldemar Żurek with the duties of a judge in the full scope of adjudication in the 2nd civil appeals department of the Krakow SO” and made this decision immediately enforceable. In addition, the court ruled that SO in Kraków should pay PLN 2,100 to Żurek as compensation, and pay PLN 5,000 to the Dina Radziwiłłowa Children’s Heart Foundation.

The judgment is invalid.

Judge Katarzyna Sznajder-Peroń, verbally justifying the verdict, said that “the defendant did not demonstrate sufficient organizational premises that would convincingly support the transfer of the plaintiff to another division of the court”.

As she added, “the plaintiff showed that he was treated worse, less favorably than other people from this professional group”, and “he effectively linked it with the views he expressed regarding changes in the structure of the court, but also courts across the country.

Żurek: this process was not about me, but about the methods

– I feel very good because this verdict hits our demands on point and reflects what we demanded from the very beginning, commented Żurek in an interview with journalists.

As he said, “the great value of this process is that the manner of harassment of judges who oppose the destruction of the rule of law in Poland has been documented.”

– From the very beginning I made it clear that this process was not about me, but about the methods. These methods are used in different courts for different judges. There are many judges fighting for the rule of law who are anonymous. I think this trial will give them wind in their sails and show that you cannot transfer a judge between departments with impunity, he stressed.



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