The first president of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska, confirmed that it was she who signaled to the Chancellery of the President the problem with the adoption of resolutions by the Court. She admitted that the president’s project to change the regulations “is probably the result of this signaling.” In the interview, she was also asked about her position on the Supreme Court. – I am prepared for all possible variants of what may happen in the future. And I assure you: I will definitely not take a step back, she said.
Małgorzata Manowska in a conversation with Patryk Słowik, a journalist of “Wirtualna Polska”, she denied that she had packed her bags and was planning to leave her office. – Why would I be packed? – she asked. – Given my stature, they might be in trouble. “Let them send some strong ones,” she replied.
– There’s a lot of noise. Discussions are being held on what will happen next with the Supreme Court and common courts. I won’t join the choir of wimps, she said. – I consume media information very sparingly because I value my mental health. I also always tell all my haters that they can say whatever they want about me, because I don’t read it, I don’t listen to it, I don’t watch it anyway – she added.
Manowska noted that the task of the first president of the Supreme Court is not to refer to “all concepts”. She emphasized that she is prepared for all possible variants of what may happen in the Supreme Court in the future. – I assure you: I will definitely not take a step back – she added.
Manowska: theories about “concreting” the Supreme Court are absurd
The first president of the Supreme Court was asked about the draft amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Court, which was recently presented by the president Andrzej Duda. One of the changes included in the draft provides that the presence of at least half of the judges of each chamber will be required to adopt a resolution of the full bench of the Supreme Court or joint chambers. The presence of half of its judges would also be required to adopt a resolution of the chamber. Currently, in order to adopt such resolutions, the participation of 2/3 of all judges of the full bench of the Supreme Court, joint chambers or one chamber is necessary.
– My colleagues showed me the fiery speeches of some judges, how allegedly together with President Andrzej Duda we are preparing an attack on the rule of law, “concreting” Supreme Court. Absurd theories – she commented.
Manowska argued that the change should help citizens who expect judges to make decisions. She argued that it cannot be that the Supreme Court does not rule on matters that are most important for citizens and the justice system because the judges are unable to communicate.
– For several years, the Supreme Court has not been able to adopt the so-called Swiss franc resolution, which means that both people and the justice system, paralyzed by the flood of Swiss franc cases, lose. And only because some judges have some problem with joint adjudication. Moreover, reducing the quorum does not deprive anyone of the right to participate in the meeting, even to express a dissenting opinion, she said.
She also assessed that people claiming that the change in the regulations would take away any rights or even violate the constitution apparently believed that “the right to obstruct and disorganize the work of the Supreme Court is a constitutional value.”
When asked whether, after changing the regulations, she would not rule on her own status as a Supreme Court judge, she replied that “no one in the Supreme Court has the right to rule on the status of a Supreme Court judge.”
Manowska: I signaled to the Chancellery of the President a problem with adopting resolutions
When asked who took the initiative to change the regulations, Manowska admitted that she was the one who signaled to the Chancellery of the President the problem with adopting resolutions. – The project to change the regulations is probably the result of this signaling – she added.
She was further asked about “two main concepts regarding the so-called neo-judges of the Supreme Court”, which were developed by experts discussing the reform of the justice system. The first involves returning to the previously held position. The professor said that although she had nothing against the Court of Appeal in Warsaw, where she worked, she also emphasized that she would certainly not leave the Supreme Court and return to the Court of Appeals because someone wanted her to.
– However, if a law was passed assuming that I would return to the position I previously held, and such an act was signed by the president and then published in the Journal of Laws, I would consider it – she explained.
“I will defend all judges appointed to serve at any level in recent years”
Referring to the second concept assuming the appointment of a verification commission, she replied: “I will not submit to any verification.” – I will defend all judges appointed in recent years to serve at any level of the judiciary against such verification, as long as they do not want to submit to it – she emphasized. She assessed that the announcement of the verification was an attempt to put pressure on the judges.
When asked what the reform of the justice system should look like, she replied that, first of all, the structure of the justice system should be flattened. She proposed that “the promotion of a judge should be separated from a vacant position in a higher court.”
– As the judge gains experience, he or she would receive more and more serious cases and higher remuneration. For this model to function well, it would be necessary to establish judges’ offices. There should be a whole team of people around the judge who manages the cases. This would result in an influx of existing officials to adjudicate. There would also be no blurring of responsibility for the efficiency of the proceedings, she explained.
Main photo source: Marcin Obara/PAP