Senators unanimously adopted – along with amendments – the amendment to the law on the Supreme Court. The Law and Justice club voted in favor of the bill as a whole, although it critically assessed most of the amendments adopted. Why? – We understand that this is an obligation to adopt these amendments in the Sejm – said Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz. – I would like it to be a variant of sobriety and decency, but knowing PiS, I think that it is as always, i.e. a game of appearances and political theater – assessed Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska.
Senate on Wednesday it adopted – with amendments – an amendment to the law on the Supreme Courtwhich assumes, among other things, the liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber questioned as an independent body and its replacement with a new one – the Chamber of Professional Responsibility. The amendment is now returning to the Sejm.
The upper house introduced 29 amendments to the act. Among other things, according to them, only judges with seven years of experience as a judge of the Supreme Court will be able to adjudicate in the new Chamber. There will also be no possibility of further adjudication in the Supreme Court by persons who held judicial positions in the Disciplinary Chamber. The senators also removed the provisions allowing for the retirement of these judges. Other amendments assume that all judgments made in the Disciplinary Chamber will be invalid and void of legal effects. The judges suspended by the Chamber return to their posts and for the next three years they cannot be transferred to other court departments without their consent. The reduced salaries will also be reinstated.
97 senators – not only opposition politicians, but also Law and Justice (PiS) politicians, supported the adoption of the amended bill. Nobody was against and nobody abstained.
Agata Adamek, a reporter from TVN24, asked about the reasons for this unexpected consent.
Kidawa-Błońska: there are two scenarios, one optimistic
Deputy Speaker of the Sejm Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska (PO) replied that she saw two possible scenarios in this matter. – The first is that there has indeed been an enlightenment among the senators of Law and Justice and they realized that they will bear responsibility before history that they did not lead to the fact that EU funds would go to Poland and that it would be their fault – she said, noting that, according to her, this is an optimistic variant.
The second scenario, less optimistic according to Kidawa-Błońska, is that “it is as always with Law and Justice”. – So a game of appearances before the president’s visit to show that PiS is doing everything to make the law in our country good – she suggested.
– I would love it to be a variant of sobriety and decency, but knowing PiS, I think that it is as always, i.e. a game of appearances and political theater – she summed up. “I have a dream, but very little faith,” she admitted.
Kosiniak-Kamysz: it is a commitment
Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, the head of the peasants, spoke about the extraordinary “agreement” in the Senate at a conference in the Sejm. – We understand that this is an obligation to adopt these amendments in the Sejm. If the Senate’s amendments are rejected, there is no rule of law in Poland, there is no guarantee of obtaining funds from the European Union, that is, a vote against Poland. This is how we will treat voting against a bill that has been approved by the entire Senate, including PiS senators, he said.
Grodzki: senators had to have a dilemma
However, Tomasz Grodzki, Marshal of the Senate, did not express any illusions in this matter. “I wouldn’t get too excited about it because it happens so often,” he said. – In this case (PiS senators) they had a difficult dilemma, because the debate was heated. At the end, I do not know if the night order came from Nowogrodzka or it was their initiative, because while browsing the nightly Twitter (I saw) that some of them explained a bit why they voted for the bill. If they voted against, it would be a completely incomprehensible decision on the part of their voters, especially as the game is about huge money – he admitted.
At the same time, he appealed to the Sejm to “seriously consider throwing out amendments” of the Senate. – It could be dramatic. Because the KPO will be approved and the money will not come – he noted.
Śmiszek: Ziobro will not let you rush to fulfill your obligations
The liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber is one of the “milestones”, the implementation of which was to give the green light for the approval of the Polish National Reconstruction Plan by the European Commission. These so-called stones must be completed by the end of the first quarter, i.e. the end of June.
Krzysztof Śmiszek (Left), when asked about the chasing deadlines, announced that two Sejm meetings are scheduled for June. – However, one must remember that if the Law and Justice wants to push something immediately, it does it in one night – he reminded. He also emphasized that he did not believe that “they will be in such a hurry to fulfill the obligations arising from the National Reconstruction Plan”. – Zbigniew Ziobro Kaczyński will not allow it – said the MP from the Left.
Ziobro: the intention was not to support the solutions advocated by the PO
The minister of justice and prosecutor general Zbigniew Ziobro, mentioned by Śmiszek, announced today that his party – Solidarna Polska – will defend the amendments to the law adopted by the Sejm.
Ziobro, when asked if he was convinced that the opposition’s amendments would be rejected in the Sejm and that PiS MPs voted in favor of the entire bill in the Senate, replied that “taking into account the statement of Mr. Marshal (Marek) Pęk, (…) there is no doubts that the intention was not to support the solutions advocated by the Civic Platform.
After the vote, journalists asked Pęk (PiS) why his club voted in favor of the bill as a whole, even though it had misjudged most of the adopted amendments. – PiS ultimately supported the bill with amendments, although we were against most of the amendments, because this is the rule of the Senate – replied the deputy speaker. – Of course, the last word will belong to the Sejm, where the law will return – he added. In his opinion, “the most harmful and outrageous amendments”, including those concerning “dismissal from the profession” of judges from the Disciplinary Chamber, will be rejected in the Sejm. Ziobro, referring to the words of Pęk, said: – If this is the case, and I do not think anything has changed in this matter, as far as the views of the PiS leadership are concerned – I had the opportunity to talk to President Jarosław Kaczyński on this subject more than once or twice. – I am confident about the result of the vote in the Sejm and I believe that the solutions that were adopted at the plenary session in the Sejm will be defended and they will come into force. According to the head of the Ministry of Justice, “there is no need to introduce additional elements that the Civic Platform talks about, which were introduced by the Senate, because they would only lead to anarchy, chaos and deepening the crisis of the Polish judiciary.” In his opinion, “there is a lot of demagogy on the part of the opposition.” “We were told that the approval of the KPO depends on the adoption of the Act on the Supreme Court, while today Ms (the head of the European Commission Ursula) von der Leyen will probably be in Warsaw and you can see for yourself by asking her questions that this is not true” – he said.
Today in Warsaw, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, is to announce the approval of the Polish National Reconstruction Plan.
Main photo source: Senate of the Republic of Poland