On 8 July 2019, prosecutor Mariusz Krasoń was relocated from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Cracow, Poland to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Wrocław-Krzyki, almost 300 km away, and two levels lower in the hierarchy. The Justice Defence Committee (KOS) indicates that in May 2019, prosecutor Krasoń initiated a resolution of the Assembly of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Cracow.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled for a second time that a cornerstone of the PiS-led judicial “reforms” is incompatible with EU law. In its verdict of 5 November, the CJEU stated that the provisions of the Common Courts Act adopted in 2017, including those making the retirement ages for men and women different, infringed the prohibition on discrimination and violated the principle of effective judicial protection.
While the freedom of expression of public officials can be sometimes restricted with a view to protecting the impartiality and independence of institutions, in the event of a breach of the rule of law, judges and prosecutors can be seen as having a moral duty to speak out – says the report.
Even the winners of yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Poland can feel (at least somewhat) like losers. There are many possible scenarios for how events will unfold, and underlying tensions threaten to wreak havoc among the main parties. While there are many reasons for all parties to be satisfied, there are also many reasons why they may look to the upcoming Sejm with trepidation rather than excitement.
Ryszard Balicki, a leading Polish constitutional scholar from the University of Wrocław, has passed judgement: the current Sejm whose term is now coming to a close, responsible for violations of established traditions and the Constitution as well, was a mute and essentially pointless Sejm. Who is responsible? In large part, the former Marshal of the Sejm, Marek Kuchciński.
Viktor Orbán’s government is masterful at creating a feudal relationship of social dependence by employing informal means of coercion. And while informal means of coercion play a very important role in the regime aiming at consolidating his power, international observers are practically unable to address systemically and effectively.
While the attention of many constitutional law scholars has been on the UK Government’s decision to prorogue Parliament and first judicial responses, the Polish Sejm’s plenary sitting has been unexpectedly suspended and postponed until after the general elections of 13 October 2019. The decision has a precedential nature. For the first time since the Polish Constitution entered into force, the ‘old’ Sejm is sitting while the ‘new’ Sejm will be waiting for an opening. Although this decision is formally compliant with the Polish Constitution, it is nonetheless undemocratic and raises some serious questions about the motivation behind this move.
CJEU Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev confirmed that judges may pose preliminary questions to the Court of Justice concerning their independence in the context of the disciplinary system for judges in EU Member States.
The report details the negative consequences of the changes in the prosecutorial service implemented by the Law and Justice government. It also reveals a number of pathological situations related mainly to personnel policy as the foundation of the so-called prosecutorial reform.
During his report to the Parliament, the president of the neo-KRS declared that the members of the Council would not leave their posts even in the event the CJEU rules against them. Only the Polish authorities can force them out.