The first president of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska, partially freezes the work of the unrecognized Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram from the “Free Courts” Initiative stated that Małgorzata Manowska’s decision was not an implementation of the CJEU’s ruling to suspend the activities of the Disciplinary Chamber. The President of the Supreme Court also referred to the first decision by Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta.
In mid-July, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the system of disciplinary liability of judges in Poland is inconsistent with EU law. The day before, the CJEU obliged Poland to suspend the application of provisions concerning, in particular, the powers of the unrecognized Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, also in cases of lifting judicial immunities.
On Thursday, the website of the Supreme Court published two ordinances of Małgorzata Manowska – in them, the work of the Disciplinary Chamber was partially frozen. This applies to matters that will affect it. With cases pending, Manowska will consider asking the judges assigned to these cases to consider refraining from adjudicating.
Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram on the ordinances of the first president of the Supreme Court
Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram from the “Free Courts” Initiative assessed that the first decision of the President of the Supreme Court did not comply with the CJEU ruling suspending the activities of the Disciplinary Chamber. – Neither the safeguarding of the Court of Justice of the European Union nor the judgment has been executed. This safeguard is clear: the Disciplinary Chamber should stop working. There is no question of any tugging on the rope or any maneuvering, which is what Mrs. Manowska does – assessed the attorney.
In the opinion of the representative of the “Free Courts” Initiative, the Disciplinary Chamber “should not function in any aspect”, nor should it decide whether a given case will be resolved. – We know that there are people sitting there who are not attached to the European order. I imagine a situation where in many cases these people will still decide the fate of judges and prosecutors – added Gregorczyk-Abram.
– I have the impression that President Manowska is looking for an alibi to avoid responsibility in the future. Anyone who does not execute the sentence, and is a public official, may be held criminally liable, because it is a crime of violating the powers under Article 231 of the Criminal Code – assessed the attorney. – I see an escape route here: letters written to the president and other bodies, an order to be written in the spirit of dialogue. (…) All these movements are apparent, in order to provide myself with an alibi, to be able to say in the future: after all, I took the appropriate action – she added.
In July, the first president of the Supreme Court sent letters on the system of disciplinary liability to the president, marshals of the Sejm and Senate and the prime minister.
Commentary by the deputy minister of justice to the ordinances of Małgorzata Manowska
After the publication of the ordinances, the case was also referred to by Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta. “Unfortunately, the consequences of Małgorzata Manowska’s PPSN inconsistency will form the basis for further unlawful interference in the Polish judiciary by the EU. Freezing the SN ID (contrary to the Constitution and the Constitutional Tribunal) will not help, the next step will be to undermine her status as a Supreme Court judge” – he wrote on Twitter.
Main photo source: PAP / Rafał Guz