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Thursday, May 23, 2024

State Tribunal. Małgorzata Manowska refused the judges who wanted to change the regulations

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Six judges of the State Tribunal asked the chairwoman, Małgorzata Manowska, to convene a meeting to repeal the current regulations of the tribunal and adopt new ones. Manowska refused. He claims that initiating such a change is the sole competence of the chairman. – It cannot be that such extensive competences are concentrated in the hands of one person, which may cause the work of the tribunal to be paralyzed – said Przemysław Rosati, president of the Supreme Bar Council and one of the judges of the State Tribunal.

On March 20, six judges of the State Tribunal asked the chairwoman of this body, the First President of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska, to convene a meeting of the full bench of the tribunal and repeal the current regulations and adopt new ones. They postulate, among others: drawing of adjudicating panels and openness of sessions. The letter was signed by Przemysław Rosati, Kamila Ferenc, Jacek Dubois, Marek Małecki, Marek Mikołajczyk and Piotr Zientarski.

According to the current rules of the State Tribunal, its chairman is obliged to convene a meeting of the full bench within 45 days from the submission of a written request by at least five members of the tribunal, which deadline expires on May 4.

In her response to six judges, dated April 19, Manowska, referring to the rules of procedure of the Court of Justice, wrote that the initiation of changes to the rules of procedure is the exclusive competence of the chairman of the Court of Justice and cannot take place at the request of other entities. In Manowska's opinion, as a consequence, it is not possible to proceed with the submitted application.

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She also indicated that she expected the judges who requested these changes to present their justification within 60 days. “I will then send this justification to all members of the Tribunal of State in order to submit comments or formulate alternative proposals, also with justification. On this basis, I will prepare a draft resolution on amending the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Tribunal and convene a meeting to discuss the draft,” she wrote.

Małgorzata ManowskaRadek Pietruszka/PAP

Przemysław Rosati, president of the Supreme Bar CouncilTVN24

Rosati: this formula is also acceptable

The President of the Supreme Bar Council, TS judge Przemysław Rosati, recalled that the signatories of the letter to Manowska submitted two resolutions. The first concerns the repeal of the current regulations, and the second – the adoption of new regulations. He added that in such a case, the chairwoman did not have exclusive competence. An effective application may also be submitted by members of the tribunal, and the regulation requires convening a meeting of the full bench. – There is no room for discretion here – Rosati emphasized.

He pointed out that “neither in the regulations of the Constitutional Tribunal nor in the Act on the State Tribunal, there is any competence on the part of the chairperson to demand that the resolutions be supplemented by presenting their justification.” – We will present this justification at the session of the State Tribunal, if it convenes as a full body. Because such a formula is also acceptable, he explained.

Supreme Court Elzbieta Krzysztof / Shutterstock.com

President of the NRA: this is an example of the need to urgently change the regulations

He added that a meeting of the full bench of the Constitutional Tribunal should be convened by May 4. – Today the ball is in the court of the TS chairperson – he emphasized.

– This situation, this letter (Manowska) and the lack of intention to convene a meeting of the full bench of the Court of Justice within the time specified in the regulations is the best example of the need to urgently change the rules of procedure of the Court of Justice so that such situations never repeat in the future – he said.

In his opinion, “it cannot be that such extensive competences are concentrated in the hands of one person, which may cause the work of the Constitutional Tribunal to be paralyzed.” – A change to the TS Regulations is necessary. In a democratic state ruled by law, we cannot tolerate a situation in which the key competences and powers of a collegial constitutional body are concentrated in the hands of one person, he said.

Rosati explained that the purpose of the request to convene a full bench of the Court of Justice and adopt new regulations is primarily to introduce a standard of fair proceedings before this body when it comes to determining the benches that will adjudicate. – We demand that this be done by lot, and not by appointment by the president of the tribunal – he said. He added that they also want the meetings and hearings of the Court of Justice's adjudicating panels to be appointed by the chairman of a given panel, and for the media and the public to have access to the sessions of the full bench of the tribunal.

Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka/PAP



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