I assure you that we will strive with all our strength to repair the justice system, said the head of the Ministry of Justice, Adam Bodnar, on Saturday. He talked about the proposed changes to the constitution announced by the government, which would lead to the repair of the justice system. – I think there will be quite important action in this context this week. At least that’s what I expect to be able to present this week, he said.
On Saturday, the Polish Business Leaders Gala took place – organized by the Business Center Club – crowning the 31st edition of the Polish Business Leader competition. During the ceremony, in addition to the Polish Business Leader Statuettes, Special Awards were also awarded. They were received by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General Adam Bodnar and ambassador USA in Poland Mark Brzezinski. These were the BCC Special Award for a Domestic Personality and the BCC Special Award for a Foreign Personality, respectively.
After the gala, Bodnar talked to a TVN24 reporter. The minister was asked, among other things, how far the rule of law reforms being prepared by the ministry would go, which would also include changes to the constitution.
– I think that a good feature of every politician is not to anticipate the actions that will be taken through press statements. So when these actions appear, you will see what they are. They will be properly prepared, described and presented. I assure you that we will strive with all our strength to repair the justice system in Poland, replied the head of the Ministry of Justice.
When asked “when can we expect these constitutional amendments”, Bodnar replied: – I think there will be quite important action in this context this week. At least that’s what I expect to be able to present this week.
Bodnar about TK. “We must respond to this problem in a comprehensive manner”
When asked whether the changes concerned the Constitutional Tribunal, he emphasized that this body “is absolutely fundamental from the point of view of guaranteeing constitutional values and the rights and freedoms of the individual.”
– We have a situation where we no longer have any greater public confidence in the operation of the Constitutional Tribunal. Subsequent verdicts are sometimes received with a shrug. However, they cause a whole range of various complications in the functioning of the state – he pointed out.
In his opinion, “we have to face the fact that we have double judges in the Tribunal, and we have a president of the Tribunal whose mandate as president we have doubts about, and that we have often had situations where the composition of the Tribunal was manipulated.” – We simply need to respond to this problem in a comprehensive way – said Bodnar.
He also recalled that he had prepared a bill regarding the National Council of the Judiciary. He added that it would be delivered to the government “in the coming days”. – The most important thing is to simply restore this ordinary, constitutional procedure choice judges who are members of the National Council of the Judiciary. And I think this is one of the first draft laws that will be processed in the coming days, he said.
Another important thing, as he said, is separating the offices of the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General. – I announced the assumptions for the draft bill, now we will start writing the bill. And I hope that this is what we will focus on in the coming months, that it will not be a constant (…) fight over various rhetorical arguments in the public debate, but that we will simply start very specific legislative work. Both at this stage of public consultations and simply through work in parliament, he added.
Testimony in the Pegasus case. “Breakthrough Statements”
The Minister of Justice and Attorney General also commented on the Pegasus case. Agnieszka Kwiatkowska-Gurdak, acting head of the Central Anticorruption Bureau, was interrogated in the investigation into the hacking of the phone of Krzysztof Brejza from the Civic Coalition using spy software. Previously, she was one of the investigators of the CBA proceedings against the Brejz family.
Journalists from TVN24 and “Superwizjer” TVN unofficially established that the head of the CBA confirmed the use of the spy program against the politician.
– I think we had a lot of these breakthroughs in the Pegasus case. Because we also had the report of the Senate committee chaired by Senator Marcin Bosacki, and we had the report of the European Parliament – he pointed out. He admitted that he was very happy that “now we are starting the (parliament – ed.) investigative committee on the Pegasus case.”
– However, of course, I have additional responsibility related to the fact that (…) this is one of the issues that connects the topic of Pegasus with the Ministry of Justice. Namely, the fact of purchasing Pegasus itself. After all, the media reported that Pegasus was purchased with funds from the Justice Fund. There was also a debate on this topic in parliament on Friday, he said.
He added that “the second thing is criminal liability for these crimes of illegal surveillance.” – All this will have to be investigated. I think that the activities of the investigative commission will simply be complemented by the normal activities of the prosecutor’s office in this case, said the Minister of Justice.
– I think that the fact that the new head of the Central Anticorruption Bureau speaks so directly about this matter shows what we were dealing with and these are certainly groundbreaking statements – he added.
Bodnar about the award: I treat it as recognition of the efforts of an entire generation of lawyers
Bodnar also talked about the award he received that evening. He pointed out that it was awarded to him “more for what” he did before taking up the position of head of the ministry, when he was the Commissioner for Human Rights.
– I see it more as an appreciation of the efforts of an entire generation of lawyers, people around my age, who have been fighting to regain the rule of law in recent years – he said. According to him, “there were a lot of people really involved.”
He noted that he “is perfectly aware of what he has to do.” – I will be very pleased if in a few years I will be able to meet with entrepreneurs and be able to say: listen, we have managed to achieve a result in the form of repairing the justice system, restoring the stability of the legal system, and regaining an independent Constitutional Tribunal for citizens. I know perfectly well what the mission before me is, added Bodnar.
Polish Business Leader statuettes and BCC Special Awards
The aim of the Polish Business Leader competition is to distinguish and reward companies and their managers that achieve the best economic results and are distinguished by their involvement in the economic development of the country, comply with the principles of business ethics and conduct social and charitable activities.
In turn – as we read on the BCC website – “BCC Special Awards are awarded to outstanding personalities from outside the business community for contributing to the development of Poland, its economy and security.” “All winners of the Special Awards are Honorary Members of the BCC. So far, the Golden Statuette has been awarded to: George Bush, Krzysztof Penderecki, Jacques Chirac, Bill Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Władysław Bartoszewski, Tony Blair, Volodymyr Zełenski and Pope Francis” – it was added.
As announced at Saturday’s Gala, this year’s Special Prize was awarded to Bodnar for his “actions as the Ombudsman for the rule of law and legal stability, conditions necessary for the proper functioning and development of Polish entrepreneurship, as well as for his significant contribution to the observance of civil rights and the effective building of civil society in our country.
Brzezinski received the Special Award “for activities to support and integrate Poland in the international arena, contributing to the development of entrepreneurship and market economy in our country and friendship with our country.”
Main photo source: TVN24