Five new disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against judge Paweł Juszczyszyn – writes OKO.press on Monday. The cases are related to Juszczyszyn’s fight to return to adjudication in the civil department of the District Court in Olsztyn and the accusation that he undermines the status of other judges nominated by the current National Council of the Judiciary.
Judge Pawel Juszczyszyn was suspended from his duties on February 4, 2020 by the then Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. In May last year, the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court – a one-person panel composed of President Adam Rocha – lifted the suspension.
The judge returned to work at the District Court in Olsztyn, but by the decision of its president, a member of the National Council of the Judiciary, Maciej Nawacki, he was transferred to the family division (before suspension, he ruled in the civil division) and sent to overdue vacation. In July last year, he returned to adjudication. Refusing to be transferred to another division, Judge Juszczyszyn applied to the court in Bydgoszcz, which in January this year issued a decision to reinstate Juszczyszyn to adjudicate in the civil division. However, Nawacki does not implement the court’s decision.
As the OKO.press portal found out, “Juszczyszyn recently received a pile of letters with new decisions to bring him new disciplinary charges in five cases.” The decisions to initiate them come from the end of July and August 2023.
The chief disciplinary officer, Piotr Schab, is responsible for one of these disciplinary proceedings. He is to prosecute the judge for demanding the execution of the court’s decision in Bydgoszcz. He accuses Juszczyszyn of a disciplinary tort under Article 107 paragraph 1 point 1a of the Act on the System of Common Courts concerning “refusal to administer justice”.
Art. 107. § 1. A judge is subject to disciplinary action for official (disciplinary) misconduct, including: 1) obvious and flagrant violation of the law; 1a) refusal to administer justice; 2) actions or omissions that may prevent or significantly impede the functioning of a judicial authority; 3) actions questioning the existence of a judge’s service relationship, the effectiveness of the judge’s appointment, or the legitimacy of a constitutional body of the Republic of Poland; 4) public activity incompatible with the principles of independence of the courts and judges; 5) violation of the dignity of the office.
This provision, as OKO.press reminds, became part of the act thanks to the presidential amendment to the Act on the Supreme Court of 2022. “The provision is general and leaves Ziobro’s people a lot of room for interpretation and prosecution of judges on its basis,” the portal writes.
Allegations about the status of “neo-judges”
Four other disciplinary proceedings were to be initiated against Juszczyszyn by the deputy disciplinary prosecutor at the District Court in Olsztyn, Tomasz Koszewski, whose professional promotions – as OKO.press writes – fell during the reign of the current government. He was helped by the fact that he supported Nawacki in the dispute with Olsztyn judges who were on the side of Juszczyszyn – we read in the portal.
The allegations concern Juszczyszyn’s undermining of the status of the so-called neo-judges – judges appointed by the National Council of the Judiciary after the changes made in its operation by the rulers in 2017. The disciplinary tort concerns Article 107, paragraph 1, points 2, 3 and 5 of the Act on the Common Courts System.
According to point 2, a disciplinary act is “actions or omissions that may prevent or significantly impede the functioning of a judicial authority”. Section 3 prohibits judges from “actions questioning the existence of a judge’s service relationship, the effectiveness of the appointment of a judge, or the legitimacy of a constitutional body of the Republic of Poland”. Point 5 deals with “impairing the dignity of the office” of a judge.
As the portal writes, the allegations against Juszczyszyn are “unfounded and violate EU law”, because Judge Juszczyszyn “consistently and firmly implements the judgments of the ECtHR and the CJEU, which undermined the status of the illegal neo-KRS and its nominations for neo-judges”. Koszewski, on the other hand, when initiating proceedings, does so “on the basis of the Muzzle Act, which the CJEU found in June 2023 to be contrary to EU law.”
“I’ve never been broken before, and no one ever will.”
Judge Juszczyszyn stated in an interview with OKO.press: – The machine of repression is still working. Just like the muzzle law, which was challenged by the CJEU.
I’m prepared for a long fight. I knew it wasn’t going to be short or easy. I will not give up and together with my attorneys I will fight for my good name, my independence and the independence of the courts. So far I have not been broken and no one will be able to – he said.
I am deeply convinced that justice will prevail in the end. And those responsible for lawlessness in the courts will suffer the consequences, he added.
In total – as OKO.press reminds – Judge Juszczyn has 11 disciplinary issues.
Main photo source: Anatol Chomicz/Forum