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Friday, September 17, 2021

The Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court and the CJEU judgment. The case was put on trial and was adjourned

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The unrecognized Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court was supposed to deal with the immunity of judge Andrzej Stępka on Monday. The case went to court despite the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which decided that ID is not a court and ordered the suspension of its work. The Monday hearing was adjourned due to the absence of one of the members of the bench.

In July Court of Justice of the European Union issued a judgment in the case of the unrecognized Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court. He obliged Poland to suspend the application of the provisions concerning the powers of this Chamber. This resulted in the partial freezing of the chamber’s works by Małgorzata Manowska, the first president of the Supreme Court.

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The case of judge Andrzej Stępka before the Disciplinary Chamber

However, on the Monday list of the Disciplinary Chamber there was a case regarding the immunity of judge Andrzej Stępka. It was postponed due to the unjustified absence of one of the members of the squad.

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The prosecutor wants to waive his immunity and charge Judge Stępka with criminal charges for failure to fulfill his official duties. They face up to two years in prison.

Andrzej StępkaRafał Guz / PAP

It’s about a case from 2019. Judge Stępka was part of the panel which decided that a man sentenced to two years in prison for causing a fatal accident was to be released from custody. Thus, the judgment of the lower court was set aside.

However, the decision of the Supreme Court was not implemented. The man spent another 33 days in detention. It was supposed to happen – claims the prosecutor’s office – because Judge Stępka did not complete the formalities.

– It is unimaginable that the judge would not take an interest in such an issue. It is obvious that if someone is a public official and it depends on his decision whether someone is deprived of liberty or not, he must complete the formalities and ensure that this person is not deprived of liberty when there are no grounds for it – he said in an interview with As a TVN24 reporter, prosecutor Kamil Kowalczyk.

Prosecutor on the case of Judge Andrzej StępkaTVN24

There was an investigation. The managerial secretariat lost her post

Maria Ejchart-Dubois from the Justice Defense Committee presented the case differently. She stated that “the responsibility for this activity, that is checking whether the person concerned is deprived of liberty or not, rests with the registry of the criminal division of the Supreme Court”.

– The judge signs the release order, but the duty to check is with the registry. It is difficult for the judge to call the prison and ask if the person concerned is there, she explained.

She added that in the Supreme Court “there was an explanatory proceeding which clarified who was responsible for this unquestionable error and these persons were punished”. The head of the secretariat was dismissed.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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