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European judges favour expelling the neo-NCJ from the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary
The European Association of Judges (EAJ) supports the idea that Poland’s National Council of the Judiciary should be removed from the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ). “For several years I have been speaking loudly about the dangerous path onto which Poland’s rulers have gone. Their aim is to destroy the separation of powers,” said the president of the European association in January
Prosecutor Bogdan Święczkowski attacks Małgorzata Gersdorf, head of the Supreme Court
The National Prosecutor Bogdan Święczkowski, one of the Minister of Justice/ the Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro’s closest associates, has demanded clarification from the First President of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Gersdorf. He wants to know why she suspended the Disciplinary Chamber’s power of adjudication. Święczkowski’s letter sets a dangerous and unprecedented precedent that can be seen as an attempt at intimidation or to bring criminal charges.
Safjan on Constitutional Tribunal ruling: an extreme scenario, but even EU exit seems possible
The Constitutional Tribunal, by a decision of its full bench, ruled that the resolution of the three combined chambers of the Supreme Court is incompatible with the constitution and international law. According to Professor and CJEU Judge Marek Safjan, this ruling by the Constitutional Tribunal is “highly disturbing” and can even threaten Poland’s membership in the European Union.
Prof. Zoll: The May elections will not be a celebration of democracy, but its burial. The State Electoral Commission should resign
The former chairperson of the State Electoral Commission (PKW), Professor Andrzej Zoll fiercely criticised the aim of the ruling camp to hold the presidential elections by post. He stated that the PKW should tender its resignation, while the situation today is worse than during the times of the People’s Republic of Poland.
The National Electoral Commission deprived of its powers in Poland
Law and Justice party has just excluded a key institution from the process of preparing the elections: the National Electoral Commission. Former Chairperson of the Commission Judge Hermeliński: such a change in the electoral laws and procedures is in breach of Article 2 of the Constitution.
CJEU: the Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court may not conduct disciplinary proceedings against judges
The CJEU has ruled that the Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court may not conduct disciplinary proceedings against judges or refer them to courts which do not meet the criterion of independence under Union law. The ruling is in force until the CJEU renders final judgment on the European Commission’s complaint against the Polish government. The judgment will be handed down in the second half of 2020.
Adamant objection to the bill introducing voting by post in the next presidential election in Poland
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights expresses its adamant objection to the bill presented by a group of MPs introducing voting by post in the general election to the office of President of the Republic of Poland in 2020.
Muzzle Law leads German court to refuse extradition of a Pole to Poland under the European Arrest Warrant
The unprecedented decision shows that a court in Germany does not trust that a process brought against a Polish citizen in Poland will be conducted with respect for the fundamental right to a fair trial. This is not an expression of distrust towards Polish judges, but rather towards the system built by the ruling majority. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the system of disciplinary liability and the Muzzle Law.
MEP Šimečka: “There’s no Brussels police which could come and bend the Polish government to its will. And this is good.”
“The big political groups are basically speaking with one voice when it comes to the rule of law and Poland. In this sense the Polish government and its MEPs are isolated,” says Slovak MEP Michal Šimečka. He emphasises, however, that the ultimate fate of Polish democracy rests in the hands of Polish voters.
Council of Europe to Ziobro: The “Muzzle Law” Facilitates Corruption
“I fully subscribe to the conclusion of the urgent opinion of the Venice Commission of 16 January 2020, that these amendments diminish judicial independence,” writes the President of the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) at the Council of Europe. Marin Mrčela appeals for revision of the “muzzle law.”