“Can a judge support his own candidacy for the National Council of the Judiciary, as Nawacki did? I don’t think so. After all, a candidate is on such a list because he agreed to run. So he is to perform two roles (active and passive) simultaneously? And defects concerning one candidate makes the whole list null and void,” says Ewa Łętowska
The “Muzzle Act” takes effect 14 February. Public opinion is focused on the Disciplinary Chamber, but it is the Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber that will serve to smother oversight of judges recommended by the new National Council of the Judiciary. This chamber will accept all relevant motions and simply leave them unexamined. In addition, any resolutions it passes will be binding on the entire Supreme Court.
Twenty-two former members of the Constitutional Tribunal, including eight retired presidents and vice-presidents, say the court has ceased to perform its constitutional tasks and duties. They note the pending spurious dispute on the Supreme Court resolution, and particularly the participation of two former MPs in the bench, that compromise the court’s independence.
Independent media are a vital element of liberal democracy. Zselyke Csaky explains changes in the Hungarian legal and media market landscape and how media in other countries can learn to be more resilient against government pressure.
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.”