Judge Maciej Nawacki, president of the District Court in Olsztyn, signed his list of support for the second term of office to the new National Council of the Judiciary. In 2018, when members were elected for the first term, Nawacki also backed himself. There were voices that he did it because he did not collect enough signatures. At that time, the Chancellery of the Sejm consistently did not publish a letter of support to the National Council of the Judiciary.
The Chancellery of the Sejm published lists of support for candidates for members for the second term of office of the politicized National Council of the Judiciary. So far, there are three candidates: Grzegorz Furmankiewicz, Stanisław Zdun and Maciej Nawacki.
Nawacki is the president of the District Court in Olsztyn nominated by Zbigniew Ziobro, the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General, and a member of the new National Court Register. Some lawyers question the correctness of appointing a judge to this body. Nawacki signed his own candidacy for the first term of the NCJ. As president of the court, Nawacki consistently prevents judge Paweł Juszczyszyn from adjudicating, despite the fact that the District Court of Bydgoszcz decided that Juszczyszyn should return to work.
In the submission of Nawacki for a second term in the National Court Register, judge Michał Lasota wrote, inter alia:
The judge, when acting as the President of the District Court in Olsztyn, strictly implements the resolutions of the Supreme Court of the Disciplinary Chamber, in full compliance with the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal and the binding statutory law.
It is about the Disciplinary Chamber, challenged as an independent body, and the Constitutional Tribunal headed by Julia Przyłębska.
Nawacki once again supported Nawacki
Nawacki collected 33 signatures on his list of support, with a minimum of 25 signatures required by law. One of them is the signature of the judge himself. In addition, the list includes signatures, among others Piotr Schab (disciplinary spokesman for judges and the president of the Warsaw District Court), Łukasz Piebiak (former deputy head of the Ministry of Justice, associated with a hate scandal), Jakub Iwaniec (from the District Court for Warsaw-Mokotów, whose name appears in the hate scandal), Dariusz Drajewicz (from the District Court for Warsaw-Mokotów), and also Michał Lasota (from the District Court in Elbląg).
The procedure of nominating candidates for members of the National Council of the Judiciary elected from among judges by the Sejm started on December 4. The term of office of the current neo-NCJ ends at the beginning of March.
Maciej Nawacki and secret letters of support
In January 2018, letters with the signatures of support for the candidacies for the National Council of the Judiciary appointed during the government of the United Right were officially filed. Among them was also a list with the signatures of judges who supported Nawacki’s candidacy.
28 judges signed the list of support (against the minimum of 25 required by law). However, as it turned out later, at least four judges withdrew their support even before the documents were submitted. Two judges from this group – Anna Pałasz and Katarzyna Zabuska – then they explained why they did it.
– For the last two years I have been thinking about the moment when I signed this and I have always regretted it – said judge Pałasz. Zabuska, in turn, explained that it was not about Nawacki, but about the National Council of the Judiciary itself and “the law on the basis of which this body was created at that time”.
At that time, the withdrawal of support was at risk of not having a sufficient number of signatures for Nawacki. The judge then maintained that there was no such thing as “withdrawal of support” or revocation of a signature once placed on the lists. He later confirmed that he had signed the list himself.
Nawacki, whose candidacy was proposed by the PiS club, finally found himself in the new National Court Register. He officially joined her on March 7, 2018.
Specific 24 from 2020: All actions of Judge Nawacki regarding the lists of support
The lists of support submitted to the Chancellery of the Sejm at that time were not made public. KO deputy Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz demanded their publication and brought the case to court. She won both the WSA and the NSA. The letters, despite these judgments, were not made public. We only met them on February 14, 2020.
What does the National Court Register do?
The procedure for selecting 15 judges, members of the 25-member National Council of the Judiciary, was amended in January 2018. Pursuant to the amended regulations, the final election of these members of the Council is made by the Sejm. Previously, they were chosen by the judiciary. The reform was and is critically assessed by some of the legal community and politicians. In their opinion, the change in the method of selecting judges, members of the NCJ, led, inter alia, to the lack of independence of the NCJ from the legislative and executive powers.
To the tasks National Council of the Judiciary among others, consideration of candidates for the positions of judges of the Supreme Court, administrative courts, common and military courts as well as deputy judges, applying to the Constitutional Tribunal for examination of the constitutional compliance of normative acts with regard to the independence of courts and judges, as well as issuing positions in matters of the judiciary and judges.
Main photo source: Tomasz Waszczuk / PAP