Jerzy Zajadło writes: The situation is exceptionally grave – Law and Justice has aimed almost its entire arsenal at the justice system, but now has unsheathed one more weapon: administrative review of the substance of judicial verdicts. Professor and philosopher of law Jerzy Zajadło discusses the general context of the Polish Parliament’s refusal to carry out a verdict of the Supreme Administrative Court.
On 3 July, the President of Poland Andrzej Duda visited Lwówek Śląski and gave a speech in which he criticized the activity of the Constitutional Tribunal, whose ruling from 2014 recognized the conformity of a gradual increase in the retirement age with the Polish Constitution.
For the second time in recent months, in June 2019 the Supreme Court referred preliminary questions to the European Court of Justice regarding disciplinary proceedings against judges. The most recent case involves judge Frąckowiak of the Poznań regional court.
Dorota Zabłudowska, a judge at the Gdańsk District Court, has penned an article for Euronews describing how her efforts in defence of an independent judiciary and the rule of law have led to harassment by officials of the ruling Law and Justice party.
Poland, arm in arm with Hungary, the Czech Republic and Italy, countries ruled by populists, blocked Frans Timmermans’s candidacy for head of the European Commission for the simple reason that, as the former Commissioner for the Rule of Law, he did his job. Over the last three years, the narrative of the Law and Justice party has portrayed him as a dark figure oppressing Poles in the name of “left-wing ideology” and his own career.
During an official visit to Budapest and Warsaw, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová reminded the Central European leaders that the rule of law was one of the fundamental values of the Visegrad Group. She called for an end to the violation of the rule of law, which weakens the position of the eastern Member States in the EU. She also asked Poland’s president asked about the status of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court.
The European Commission has initiated the second stage of proceedings concerning the new disciplinary system for judges in Poland. On the same day, the Commission announced a new packet of measures for the rule of law. The Commission wants to prevent and respond more effectively to infringements of Treaty values in Member States and plans to support NGOs in promoting a rule of law culture. The Polish government is taking a dim view of most of the proposed solutions.