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The newly elected jurors react to the letter of the first president of the Supreme Court. Małgorzata Manowska did not take the oath from them

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26 Supreme Court jurors selected by the Senate, whose candidatures were submitted by the Committee for the Defense of Democracy, issued a statement in response to the letter of the first president of the Supreme Court to the Marshal of the Senate. Małgorzata Manowska asked for reconsideration of the vote on jurors. “The allegations against us are unfounded and undermine our good name, patriotic commitment and pure intentions” – declared the newly elected jurors.

“We are a group of citizens of the Republic of Poland, elected by the resolution of the Senate of the Republic of Poland as lay judges of the Supreme Court, in the case of which the first president of the Supreme Court, Mr. Małgorzata Manowska sent a letter of January 4, 2023 to the Marshal of the Senate, Mr. Tomasz Grodzki, accusing us of not guaranteeing impeccable character, and our participation in the proceedings may expose the court to the charge of lack of impartiality, reads the introduction to the statement signed by 26 people.

It emphasized that “the selection of lay judges of the Supreme Court was entrusted to the Senate of the Republic of Poland, in accordance with the procedure provided for in the Act on the Supreme Court, all stages of which have been completed”. The newly elected jurors wrote that, according to the aforementioned act, it was the “duty” of the first president of the Supreme Court to take the oath from them.

“We were astonished by the fact that President Małgorzata Manowska is trying to question the decisions of an independent and authorized constitutional body, which is Senate of the Republic of Poland and that she took the oath from only 4 of the 30 selected jurors,” they added.

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Newly elected jurors: the allegations against us are baseless

At the same time, they pointed out that “statements contained in the letter of President Manowska do not correspond to reality.” “Our public engagement in recent years has focused on defending constitutional values, the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and separation of powersas well as in relation to individual lay judges-elect: human rightsschool free from political pressures, autonomy of universities, protection of minority rights, etc. We expected then and now we expect the representatives of public authorities to respect the Constitution of the Republic of Poland. Such actions do not conflict with the public mission of lay judges, and even predestinate them to perform this type of function, declared the newly elected lay judges.

“We have been elected in accordance with the law and in the recognition of the upper house of the Polish parliament that we meet all the criteria prescribed by law. The allegations against us are unfounded and undermine our good name, patriotic commitment and pure intentions” – they stated.

The statement was signed by: Stanisław Adamski, Magdalena Bielska, Sylwia Bogusz, Robert Burek, Anita Czarniecka, Małgorzata Figa-Tomińska, Izabela Fularz, Jarosław Gałkiewicz, Grzegorz Gołębiowski, Piotr Kaliszek, Grzegorz Kolek, Andrzej Kompa, Joanna Lasko, Sławomir Majdański, Sławomir Majewski, Roman Piotrowski, Jaroslaw Płuciennik, Jolanta Puacz-Olszewska, Sława Rafalak, Anna Schmidt-Fic, Monika Szafraniec, Robert Szczerbaniak, Urszula Szrek-Adamska, Ewa Topór-Nawarecka, Przemysław Wiszniewski, Grzegorz Wiśniowski.

The President of the Supreme Court wants to consider resuming the vote on lay judges

At the beginning of October last year, the Senate selected 30 lay judges of the Supreme Court from 54 candidates for a four-year term. The candidacies of the vast majority of jurors selected at that time – 26 people – were put forward by the Committee for the Defense of Democracy.

The first president of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Manowska, has so far taken the oath from four new lay judges.

The spokesman for the Supreme Court, Judge Aleksander Stępkowski, informed on January 5 this year that Manowska “had doubts as to whether all persons presented by the Senate as lay judges of the second term meet the statutory requirements, above all impeccability of character” and therefore “requested the Marshal of the Senate to consider resuming the vote on the resolution presenting lay judges of the second term”.

Stępkowski pointed out that “when it comes to resuming the vote, this is a question for the Marshal of the Senate, because it depends on the rules of the Senate and the procedure.” – From the point of view of the first president of the Supreme Court, at least one statutory and obligatory criterion has not been met, therefore this correspondence simply states that the resolution is illegal – said Stępkowski.

Grodzki summoned Manowska to take the oath from all jurors

In his reply to Manowska’s letter, Grodzki stated that the Senate had correctly selected the judges of the Supreme Court. “I feel compelled to explain that it is not legally possible to undermine this election, or to consider it null and void,” wrote the Marshal of the Senate. As he emphasized, it was made by a resolution of the Senate, and the constitution does not provide for the institution of “annulling” such an act.

“None of the persons selected by the Senate for the position of juror of the Supreme Court belonged to a political party, and public disclosure of political views, which would allegedly render the election made by the Senate ‘illegal’, is not prohibited and does not limit the possibility of running for office. it also determines the ‘corruption of character’ of the candidates,” wrote Grodzki.

The Marshal of the Senate called on the first president of the Supreme Court to immediately take the oath from all jurors of the Supreme Court selected by the Senate.

Main photo source: TVN24



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