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Not only free courts, but also speedy and friendly. The Congress of Lawyers has a plan. What about Ziobro?

Depoliticization of the National Council of the Judiciary, depriving the Minister of Justice of oversight with respect to courts and the prosecutorial service, speeding up cases in commercial and administrative courts, lowering court fees for citizens and elimination of the Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Chamber. These are the most important proposed changes in the law presented at the 2nd Congress of Polish Lawyers.

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KRS defending itself against CJEU: “Every criterion for independence impeccably satisfied”

The newly constituted National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) does not want the Court of Justice to review its status, nor the activities of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. “Every criterion for independence is impeccably satisfied”, said Jarosław Dudzicz, member of the new KRS, on 14 May in Luxembourg. The Law and Justice government is again employing the rhetorical arguments of “German courts” and “thieves in togas”. A final verdict on the legality of the KRS will come in July at the earliest.

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Disciplinary proceedings against a judge for telling the truth about staffing problems in courts

A judge from Łódź wrote critical remarks on the internet about the president of a court nominated by Zbigniew Ziobro, staff shortages in courts, and the promotion by the National Council of the Judiciary of judges “from their side”. Disciplinary spokesman Przemysław Radzik decided that the justice crossed a line by discussing this publicly and has brought disciplinary charges against him.

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Prosecutor Wójtowicz under fire for defending judicial independence

The head of the national public prosecutor’s office, Bogdan Święczkowski, is seeking to punish prosecutor Piotr Wójtowicz (pictured below) for his presence at a demonstration protesting attacks on the independence of the Supreme Court and National Council of the Judiciary (KRS). Święczkowski is demanding punishment for “political” activity, despite the fact that he himself ran as a candidate of Law and Justice (PiS) in recent elections. The verdict in this case will set a major precedent and will show whether all prosecutors are equal under the law.

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Open Letter in Support of Professor Wojciech Sadurski

We write to speak out and to stand up for freedom of speech

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Polish judges demand apology from Prime Minister over comparison to Nazi collaborators

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki compares current judiciary reforms in Poland to legal cleansing in France after the Second World War

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New Supreme Court judges rule their appointments were proper; European Commission questions status of Disciplinary Chamber

The Disciplinary Chamber is populated entirely by justices selected since Law and Justice came to power. In a resolution of 10 April, they declared that the process by which they were appointed was entirely proper. The new members of the Supreme Court are rushing to “legalise themselves” in order to head off the “older” judges, who believe their new counterparts should not be allowed to rule. They were appointed in a faulty process and with the participation of a politicised KRS.

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AG Tanchev suggests that Poland violated judicial independence

According to the Court of Justice’s Advocate General, Poland failed to guarantee effective legal protection by lowering the retirement age of Supreme Court judges and granting the President the discretion to prolong their mandate. The AG opinion is not binding on the ECJ, but the bench usually follows its conclusions.

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European Commission opens debate to strengthen the rule of law in the EU, mentions Polish case

The European Commission has launched a reflection process on the rule of law in the EU and setting out possible avenues for future action. It outlined three pillars which could contribute to further the effective enforcement of the rule of law in the Union: better promotion, early prevention and tailored reposnse

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Commission to combat new disciplinary regime

Today, the European Commission has launched an infringement procedure by sending a Letter of Formal Notice to Poland regarding the new disciplinary regime for judges. The Polish government has 2 months to reply.

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