At the assembly of the judges of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court, candidates for the president of this chamber were elected. They were chosen by the so-called new judges, appointed with the participation of the new National Council of the Judiciary. Some of the so-called old judges left the assembly before the vote. Ultimately, 10 out of 24 members of the assembly voted.
The candidates for the president of the Chamber were selected during the Monday assembly of the judges of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court. It was the fourth attempt. Previously, some judges left the session, breaking the quorum and preventing elections. They pointed to the adjournment of the meeting of June 29, convened to elect candidates for the president of the chamber, and the impossibility of conducting a parallel procedure. On that day, the assembly of judges of the Civil Chamber did not select candidates for the president, Małgorzata Manowska, the first president of the Supreme Court, became the acting president. “The assembly of judges of the Civil Chamber adopted a resolution to postpone its deliberations until the end of the proceedings pending before the Court of Justice of the EU” – reported after that June assembly.
Supreme Court Ombudsman: Quorum upheld
According to the spokesman of the Supreme Court, Aleksander Stępkowski, on Monday, the quorum was maintained during the meeting of the Civil Chamber. It is true that, as before, 14 judges – out of 24 who appeared – at some point in the assembly left the session, but this time, in the next approach, in accordance with the regulations, the presence of one third of the assembly members was enough to select candidates.
They left the room, making a statement. It seems that attempts were made to vote on a motion to the president to replace the judge performing the duties of the president of the Civil Chamber (this is Małgorzata Manowska – ed.). As the law does not provide for the possibility of changing the agenda, which is defined by the law as only selecting the candidates, therefore they left the assembly – said the spokesman of the Supreme Court. As he added, it is about the so-called old judges.
Three candidates for the president of the Chamber. The “old” judges left the room
Ultimately, in the vote, it was decided that the candidates proposed by the assembly would be judges Marcin Łochowski, Mariusz Łodko and Joanna Misztal-Konecka. All candidates were admitted to the Supreme Court under the procedure with the participation of the new National Council of the Judiciary. According to the regulations, the president will choose a new president from among them.
In an interview with PAP, judge of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Supreme Court, Marta Romańska, explained the reasons for the group of judges leaving the Monday assembly. As she pointed out, this was motivated by the fact that the motion of the majority of the president to replace the person performing the duties of the president of the chamber had not been voted on and the motion to suspend the election procedure was refused to vote in connection with the announcement of the CJEU judgment on the status of judges appointed by the current NCJ.
– We are able to present and vote candidates at any time, but let it take place in a procedure that no one will question – added judge Romańska.
Supreme Court announcement
On Monday, a statement was published on the website of the Supreme Court, informing about the decisions and referring to the statements made by some judges of the Civil Chamber. “The Act on the Supreme Court does not provide for the possibility of supplementing the agenda (…) with points other than the selection of candidates for the President of the Chamber,” we read.
The information stressed that “the assembly, which was held on June 29, was convened on the basis of other statutory provisions and was completely separate from the one that began on September 7.”
The Supreme Court’s information added that “universally binding legal provisions oblige the person entrusted by the President of the Republic to perform the duties of the President of the Civil Chamber to convene an assembly of the Chamber’s judges within a week to select candidates for the position of the President”. “This obligation arises directly from the act, which cannot be waived by the views of individual judges of the Supreme Court, even if they were expressed in resolutions of another assembly of judges of the Supreme Court” – emphasized.
“The temporary entrustment of the duties of the president of the Civil Chamber does not prejudice the necessity to select candidates for the president of the Chamber in order to be appointed by the President of the Republic of Poland, as provided for in generally applicable law,” – it was also stated in the communiqué of the Supreme Court.
Main photo source: TVN24