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The first president of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska, on the judges appointed with the participation of the new National Council of the Judiciary

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The first president of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska, criticized cases where judges refused to adjudicate with persons who had been appointed to this function with the participation of the new National Council of the Judiciary. She wrote that disregard by judges of the constitution and other legislation “may lead to judicial tyranny, the consequences of which will be borne by ordinary citizens.” “Pride is the enemy of service!” – she added.

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In the statement published on the website of the Supreme Court on Friday night, President Manowska referred to cases where judges refuse to adjudicate with persons who were appointed to this function with the participation of the new National Council of the Judiciary.

“I express my full support for judges whose judgments, in gross violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, have recently been repealed or otherwise disregarded by some judges appointed to hold office before 2018, under the guise of the alleged defectiveness of judicial appointments made at the request of the National Council of the Judiciary of the present tenure “- wrote Manowska.

She also expressed her solidarity with the judges, who, under the same pretext, became “an object of environmental ostracism”. “I find their stigmatization, attacking and undermining their authority unacceptable. These judges undoubtedly deserved their promotion with good substantive preparation and their hard daily work. It is not them who should be ashamed, but those judges who, by usurping the role of a legislator, undermine the foundations of the Polish dimension. justice “- she added.

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The first president of the Supreme Court appealed to judges to “restrain and not succumb to the temptation to usurp this power, which the Constitution and laws have not granted judges to”. She also wrote that a judge may not arbitrarily question the existence of organs enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of Poland. As she stated, this would break the principle of the separation of powers.

Manowska: it is a betrayal of the judge’s oath

“The issuance of court judgments which ignore or otherwise disregard the published in the Journal of Laws and unrecognized constitutional and statutory regulations, or judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal, constitute a violation of the judicial oath.

“Political activism of a judge, understood as the possibility of recognizing that a given norm does not apply or should apply in a different wording, leads to a violation of the rule of law, also when it is done under the guise of defending it. A judge who is unable or consciously does not want to do so. to follow the oath taken, he should leave the service “- she added.

Małgorzata ManowskaRadek Pietruszka / PAP

Manowska on “judicial tyranny”

As she pointed out, the judge must remember that he has a powerful weapon in the form of interpreting the law, for the application of which he is responsible and cannot abuse it. “Disregard by judges of the Constitution and other generally applicable legal acts may lead to judicial tyranny, the consequences of which are borne by ordinary citizens” – Manowska noted.

In her opinion, “these acts of tyranny” are committed, inter alia, by persons appointed as judges on the basis of a procedure which, she added, was unconstitutional, beyond any doubt, found by the Constitutional Tribunal in its judgments of May 2008 and March 2019.

“Before accepting the nomination, these persons often knew that the procedure under which they were presented for appointment before 2010 was unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the constitutionality of the new method of appointing judge members of the National Council of the Judiciary was not only never questioned in the operative part of any judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal, but was additionally confirmed by the judgment of K 5/17 of 20 June 2017 ” – indicated the First President of the Supreme Court.

“Pride is the enemy of service!”

She added that “it is not difficult to imagine the chaos and anarchy that could ensue if judges appointed to office after 2018 began to recognize that judgments of judges – appointed on the basis of a procedure which was formally declared unconstitutional in the procedure provided for by law – were judgments defective or nonexistent “.

At the end of her statement, she appealed to the judges “to restrain and not succumb to the temptation to usurp that power which the Constitution and laws have not granted judges to.” “Pride is the enemy of service!” – she added.

Judges refuse to adjudicate with persons appointed with the participation of the new NCJ

In September 11 Krakow judges refused to adjudicate in panels composed of judges elected by the new NCJ. At the same time, they announced “taking legal measures to avoid defective judgments issued with their participation”.

He was also temporarily suspended from performing official duties judge of the District Court in Warsaw, Piotr Gąciarek. He also refused to sit in one bench with Stanisław Zdun, appointed with the participation of the new National Council of the Judiciary.

Also in September, the Supreme Court composed of three judges, overruling the decision of another judge of the Supreme Court, argued that the reason was “improper appointment” of the court, that is, the issuance of this decision by a judge recommended by the National Court Register in the current composition.

Violated right to a fair trial

In July The European Court of Human Rights, attorney Joanna Reczkowicz examining the case, stated “serious irregularities in the appointment of judges to the newly created Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court after the legislative reform.” According to the ECtHR, the procedure for appointing judges to the Supreme Court was violated because it was entrusted to the National Council of the Judiciary, “a body that did not have sufficient guarantees of independence from the legislative and executive powers”. In the opinion of the Tribunal, the procedure for appointing judges “revealed an excessive influence of the legislative and executive authorities on the appointment of judges”.

The ruling of the ECtHR in this case is not final. As PAP learned from the spokesman of the Supreme Court, Aleksander Stępkowski, the Polish authorities appealed against it. The deadline for its submission was Friday.

Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka / PAP



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