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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.”
Ziobro’s prosecution service wants to charge Judge Tuleya for a judgment critical of PiS party
The National Prosecution Office has applied for the waiver of Judge Igor Tuleya’s immunity because he ordered an investigation into the Law and Justice vote in the Sejm’s Column Hall. Tuleya will be the first judge to whom the muzzle act will be applied. Because the illegal Disciplinary Chamber will make a decision as to his immunity.
Łętowska: It was a “cooperative”, and the judges were co-opted to offer support. A new Council must be chosen
“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
Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber to euthanise the Supreme Court’s own resolution
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.
“Constitutional Tribunal has virtually been abolished,” announce retired judges
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.