The president of the Constitutional Tribunal is currently absent, said professor Stanisław Biernat, a retired judge of the Constitutional Tribunal in “Tak jest”. He commented on the dispute within this body regarding the term of office of Julia Przyłębska as president. He also referred to Onet’s reports that it had called a meeting on Wednesday on the president’s proposal to amend the law on the Supreme Court. “That’s what it’s all about, to see who’s coming,” said Biernat. – Because it is hard for me to imagine that the judges could say something substantively after a very cursory review of the case – he argued.
There is an ongoing dispute over the term of office of the president of the Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Przyłębska. At the end of 2022, some lawyers, including former judges of the Constitutional Tribunal, indicated that the term of office of President Julia Przyłębska expires after six years, i.e. on December 20, 2022, and that she will not be able to apply for this function again. Also, six of the 15 current judges of the Constitutional Tribunal (Wojciech Sych, Jakub Stelina, Mariusz Muszyński, Andrzej Zielonacki, Zbigniew Jędrzejewski and Bogdan Święczkowski) are of the opinion that the term of office of the current president has come to an end and demand that the General Assembly of the judges of the Constitutional Tribunal be convened and candidates selected appoints a new president.
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Professor Stanisław Biernat, a retired judge of the Constitutional Tribunal, spoke in the “Tak jest” program on TVN24 about the legal situation at the Tribunal. He assessed that “the president of the Constitutional Tribunal is currently absent.” According to him, Przyłębska “is a judge of the Tribunal who performs the functions of the person in charge of the Tribunal in the period, one might say, transitional after the end of her term as president and before the initiation of the procedure for appointing a new president.”
– The fact that she performs this function does not come from the fact that she was the president, but a certain algorithm was adopted in the act, indicating who is to organize the first stage of the procedure for appointing the president, and it happened that she meets the conditions provided for in the act – he explained .
“Yesterday’s General Assembly was illegal”
Biernat also commented on the resolution adopted by the Tribunal on Wednesday. According to a spokeswoman for this body, it took place on Wednesday General Assembly of the Judges of the Constitutional Tribunal, convened by Julia Przyłębska on the letter of the six judges to convene a meeting to elect candidates for the post of president. The spokeswoman stated that the adopted resolution stated that there were no grounds for convening such an assembly.
– I believe that yesterday’s General Assembly was unlawful, because the term of office of the President ended in December and she cannot convene General Assemblies for any purpose other than initiating the procedure for a new president – said Biernat.
– Therefore, it cannot be that the judges gather and vote who is the president. This was determined by the act and it cannot be that the Tribunal invalidates this act in a sense, he added.
Onet: Przyłębska called a meeting for Wednesday. Biernat: That’s the point, to see who’s coming
The TVN24 guest was also asked about Onet’s report that Przyłębska had set a meeting date for Wednesday on the president’s proposal to amend the law on the Supreme Court and other courts, which – according to the government – would unlock funds from the National Reconstruction Plan.
– It is hard for me to imagine that the time has come to organize a substantive consultation (deliberation – editor’s note), because (…) this application was submitted to the Tribunal a few days ago – said the former judge of the Constitutional Tribunal.
– I don’t know if it was sent to the judges, I don’t know if it was sent to the participants, I don’t know if a rapporteur was appointed. I’m talking about things that are normally done in such a case. The judge-rapporteur should have time to prepare a draft or some assumptions of the draft (…). There should be positions of the participants, then it makes sense to organize the first meeting – he said.
To the attention of Marcin Zaborowski, the host of the program, that it may be about checking whether the judges will react to Przyłębska’s decision – including those who do not consider her president – Biernat replied: – I think it’s about seeing who comes How many people will come to this meeting?
– Because it is hard for me to imagine that the judges could say something substantively after a very cursory familiarization with the case, which is complicated – he argued. “I think it’s actually something called a council,” he added.
– But I repeat once again, the current person in charge of the Tribunal has no competence to conduct these activities – emphasized Biernat.
Main photo source: TVN24