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18 September 2020


Report: Rule of Law in Poland in 2020

The rule of law in Poland and other member states is important not only for the citizens of these countries, but also for the future of the European project as a club of countries with high-quality democratic institutions safeguarding human rights – says Civil Development Forum (FOR)

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Planned changes in the Supreme Court and common courts in Poland

20–30 judges of almost 100 are to remain in the Supreme Court. The remainder will be retired.

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Kaczyński threatens judges in Poland with disciplinary proceedings for court judgments

Jarosław Kaczyński: “there is indeed a problem in Poland with the rule of law, but the main sources of this state of affairs are court judgments contra legem. It is our duty to ensure that these judgments made in conflict with the law are swiftly revoked and the judges who issue them held accountable on disciplinary charges and, consequently, removed from the profession.”

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This is madness. Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioner wants to prosecute 1,278 judges in Poland at once!

Przemysław Radzik’s letter to the local disciplinary commissioners at the district and appellate courts shows that Ziobro’s people are heading for a total attack on defiant judges. This is because such record-breaking disciplinary action is absurd and will be extensively commented on in the EU.

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Who is going to be the new Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland?

The Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar’s five-year term of office ends on 9 September. It is likely that PiS will treat the election of the new Commissioner as a show of hegemony and a symbolic retaliation against Bodnar as well as lawyers and civil society activists involved in the defence of the rule of law, which means there will be a ‘trench warfare’ between the Sejm and Senate in the autumn

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Disciplinary commissioner attacks a group of 14 judges organizing help for harassed judges

Disciplinary Commissioner Przemysław Radzik attacks the authorities of an informal group of judges, which helps defend the independence of the courts and provides support to repressed judges. The commissioner pressed disciplinary charges against them, including the chairperson of this group, Bartłomiej Starosta, and Judge Waldemar Żurek

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Mass objection of judges: several hundred reported themselves to the disciplinary commissioners

Judges from all over Poland are reporting themselves to the disciplinary commissioners. This is how they are supporting judges from Piotrków Trybunalski, who are being prosecuted for signing a letter to the OSCE, as well as the head of the largest association of judges in Poland, Krystian Markiewicz.

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Disciplinary proceedings for Judge Żurek. Two hearings in one day

Two disciplinary hearings for Judge Waldemar Żurek will be held at the Court of Appeal in Katowice on Friday, 3 July. Each of them applies to different charges which the disciplinary commissioners have brought against the judge. Only eight people will be able to enter the courtroom each time as the public. The hearings will be held one after the other. Such an order was issued by the president of the Katowice Court of Appeal – Witold Mazur, nominated by Zbigniew Ziobro, privately, the brother of the head of the new NCJ.

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An appeal to the presidential candidates for changes in Polish law allowing to combat homophobic hate crimes

“We expect an amendment that will provide effective protection against attacks motivated by prejudice, including on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, gender and disability; that is, those discriminatory features that currently do not have any such protection in Polish law” – distinguished Polish lawyers appeal to candidates in the election to become President of the Republic of Poland

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The Chamber of Extraordinary Verification repeals the resolution of the National Council of the Judiciary, citing EU law

The Chamber of Extraordinary Verification and Public Affairs (IKNiSP) has revoked a resolution by the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) which recommended judge Dariusz Pawłyszcze, a judge associated with Zbigniew Ziobro’s Ministry of Justice, to sit on the Supreme Court. The National Council of the Judiciary justified its decision in terms of the “favourable opinion of the Minister of Justice”, among other things. Judge Waldemar Żurek has appealed against the KRS’s resolution.

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