Two judges from Olsztyn submitted a declaration to the president of the local District Court that they refused to adjudicate with a judge appointed with the participation of the new National Council of the Judiciary. They referred, inter alia, to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The court management has announced that it will not take any consequences against them. A similar ruling was sent to the president of the District Court in Kraków by judge Waldemar Żurek. A day earlier, for such a refusal, Warsaw judge Piotr Gąciarek was removed from the ruling for 30 days, he is facing disciplinary proceedings.
On September 7, Małgorzata Tomkiewicz and Wiesław Kasprzyk – long-term judges of the District Court in Olsztyn, made a joint statement to the president of the District Court in Olsztyn. They informed that they were refusing to adjudicate in the bench with Tomasz Koszewski, whom President Andrzej Duda had appointed a judge of the district court the day before, on September 6. Earlier, Tomasz Koszewski adjudicated in the District Court in Olsztyn, where he was considered a supporter of President Maciej Nawacki (a new member of the National Court Register).
Judge Olgierd Dąbrowski-Żegalski, spokesman of the District Court in Olsztyn, stated in a press release that judges Tomkiewicz and Kasprzyk in their letter “indicated that by issuing such a statement they respect the legal order in force in the Republic of Poland, including the judgment The CJEU of 19 November 2019 in joined cases against the Supreme Court and the resolution of the composition of the combined Chambers of the Supreme Court of 23 January 2020. “
“Moreover, the judges indicated that they acted for the proper functioning of the judiciary (not issuing judgments that may be invalid) and the seriousness of the office of a regional court judge” – emphasized Dąbrowski-Żegalski.
“They expressed their view on the issue of the administration of justice”
The spokesman added that the management of the District Court in Olsztyn decided that judges Tomkiewicz and Kasprzyk would not be given any consequences. “In the opinion of the management of the District Court in Olsztyn, issuing such a statement does not currently require any official actions towards its authors. With this statement, the judges expressed their view on the issue of the administration of justice by a judge selected in a competition by the National Council of the Judiciary established after 2018. Judges Tomkiewicz and Kasprzyk also announced that their statement was not a resignation from their office of judge, “said judge Dąbrowski-Żegalski.
Judge Tomasz Koszewski has not yet been assigned cases
Judge Olgierd Dąbrowski-Żegalski added at the same time that Tomasz Koszewski has not yet started work in the District Court, because he is on sick leave until mid-October. Therefore, the management of the court has not yet decided in which department Judge Koszewski will adjudicate, let alone any cases have been assigned to him. “Currently, the specific scope of his duties has not yet been determined. The President of the Court, first, after consulting the Board of the District Court in Olsztyn, will immediately determine the division of activities for judge Tomasz Koszewski, in which he will define, among others, the scope of his duties and the manner of participation in the allocation of cases and a roster and substitution plan “- the spokesman of the court announced. Judges Tomkiewicz and Kasprzyk adjudicate in the economic division. Koszewski, being a district judge, also ruled in the economic division. Koszewski took part in the competition for the position of a Judge of the District Court in Olsztyn in the 5th Commercial Division.
Judge Waldemar Żurek: I will not adjudicate with persons who have been incorrectly appointed
Also Waldemar Żurek, a judge of the District Court in Kraków, sent a statement to the president of his court in which he refuses to adjudicate with judges appointed by the new NCJ. There is one judge in his department – Marzena Lewicka.
“I declare that I will not adjudicate with persons who were incorrectly appointed in the nomination process. Neo-KRS application, due to the manner of its appointment, which does not meet the requirements of our Constitution. these people “- he wrote.
Referring, inter alia, to the analysis of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of July 15, 2021, he stated that the appointment of Marzenia Lewicka to the position of judge of the District Court in Krakow “is legally ineffective”.
“Similarly to the appointment of other persons who have undergone the same procedure. As a consequence, adjudicating with them would result in invalid judgments and expose the State Treasury to liability for damages, and the parties to legal uncertainty” – he explained.
He added that his statement was a resignation from office, and “it results from the necessity to comply with the principles of the Polish Constitution, EU law and judgments of European courts, which are binding on Poland.”
Consequences for judge Gąciarek
On Monday, in turn, the president of the District Court in Warsaw, Piotr Schab, ordered an immediate one a month-long break in the duties of judge Piotr Gąciarekwho refused to adjudicate with a new judge appointed by the National Court Register. Gąciarek was to adjudicate jointly with the judge, against whose appointment he had reservations.
Today I did not go to the court for a hearing composed of a judge of neo-krs who, in my opinion, had no right to adjudicate. I was removed by the president of SO for 30 days from my official duties. I don’t regret what I did
– Piotr Gąciarek (@GaciarekPiotr) September 13, 2021
Main photo source: TVN24