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Marzanna Piekarska-Drążek, Ewa Gregajtys, Ewa Leszczyńska-Furtak return to the criminal division of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw. Earlier, by the decision of Piotr Schab, they were transferred from it

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Three criminal judges from the Court of Appeal in Warsaw, who were transferred to the labor department of this court in August 2022, will return to their home department at the beginning of September – reports OKO.press. In December, the European Court of Human Rights issued a security in their case. It was these judges who overruled the rulings of the judges appointed by the new National Council of the Judiciary and refused to adjudicate with them.

The OKO.press portal reported that three judges – Marzanna Piekarska-Drążek, Ewa Gregajtys and Ewa Leszczyńska-Furtak – are returning to work in the criminal department of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw from the beginning of September.

This is related to the decision of the president of this court, Piotr Schab, who is also the disciplinary spokesman for judges of common courts. However, as OKO.press describes, this decision is not a “gesture of good will” and Schab “simply withdrew his baseless and illegal decision from a year ago.”

The case begins in August 2022. Then, three judges were transferred to the labor department of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw.

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Marzanna Piekarska-DrązekLeszek Szymanski/PAP

The judges overturned the judgments of judges appointed by the new National Council of the Judiciary and refused to adjudicate with them. Therefore, Schab, as the judges’ disciplinary spokesman, accused them of “long-term denial of the performance of fundamental official duties.”

Earlier, the ECtHR blocked the forced transfer of the judge

However, as OKO.press writes, the judge’s transfer to another department was “unfounded”. The portal indicates that “in accordance with the Act on common courts, judges with the shortest experience in the department are transferred first.” “And neo-judges have it in the penal department, including Schab and (Przemysław) Radzik. Moreover, the judges were transferred despite staffing needs. The labor department did not ask for reinforcement, and there were and are staff shortages in the penal department. After their transfer, recruitment was announced to the criminal department,” it was written.

Przemysław Radzik is vice-president of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw and deputy disciplinary spokesman for judges of common courts.

Judge Ewa Gregajtys (right)Radek Pietruszka/PAP

In December 2022 The European Court of Human Rights issued an injunction in the case of a judge which suspended the execution of transfer decisions and prohibited their transfer to another department without their consent.

OKO.press reminds that “the judges filed a report to the prosecutor’s office” against Piotr Schab and Przemysław Radzik for disregarding the security. He adds that the District Court in Słupsk ordered the final reinstatement of judge Ewa Leszczyńska-Furtak to adjudicate in the old department, and in June 2023, the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście issued an invalid injunction in favor of judge Marzanna Piekraska-Drążek.

Judge Ewa Leszczyńska-Furtak Marcin Obara/PAP

Attorney Zemła: better late than never, I am happy with this decision

The decision to return the judges to their home department was commented on by attorney Piotr Zemła, who represented them before the ECtHR, in an interview with OKO.press. “Better late than never. I am glad that the College of the Court of Appeal and President Schab reflected and, almost nine months after the ECtHR issued the injunction, decided to implement it. I also hope that Mr. President remembers about another part of the injunction, in accordance with “judges cannot be transferred to another department without their consent,” he said.

Main photo source: TVN24



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