Polish President Andrzej Duda’s recent remarks on judges have provoked a fierce response. “The suggestion that judges are irresponsible and ‘should be eliminated’ because otherwise ‘Poland will never be a normal country’ is an example of hate speech, which can lead to violence directed against individual judges,” writes Iustitia, the largest association of judges in Poland.
Poland’s Supreme Court has adopted a resolution on the legality of judicial appointments made by the reconstituted National Council of the Judiciary and on rulings by the new Disciplinary Chamber. What follows is a translation of that ruling into English.
“The amendments of December 2019 diminish judicial independence and put Polish judges into the impossible situation of having to face disciplinary proceedings for decisions required by the ECHR, the law of the European Union, and other international instruments.”
As far as I can remember, this is the first time that judges from the Netherlands have joined a silent march at all. Marching together with other judges from Europe in another country is unique. And I know it is politically sensitive. It emphasizes how much we are worried about what’s going on in Poland and elsewhere in Europe,” a senior judge of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal explained his reasons for joining Polish colleagues in a silent protest in Warsaw against curbing the independence of judges in Poland.
President of the European Association of Judges, José Igreja Matos, explains why he and other judges will join his Polish colleagues in a silent protest in Warsaw on 11 January against the planned curbs on judicial independence. “The decay of the rule of law in Europe is demanding a more public intervention from us, from European judges”
It breaches the constitution and violates the basic principles of the Polish legal order. It is in conflict with Poland’s obligations to the European Union, it strikes at the guaranteed protection of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the Senate, Adam Bodnar tore the “Repression” Act that is being forced through by Law and Justice to shreds
“I feel ashamed when I see that the First President of the Supreme Court can say such things about Poland. Ashamed that someone like that was ever appointed to that office. Thankfully, this will soon change.” This is how Polish President Andrzej Duda referred on government-controlled TVP to the First President of the Supreme Court, professor Małgorzata Gersdorf