Deans of the faculties of law of 13 universities in Poland condemn the proposed changes into judiciary


Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland


According to the deans of law departments of 13 universities around Poland, the bill submitted to the Sejm by Law and Justice unconstitutionally restricts the fundamental rights and freedoms of judges, as citizens of the Republic of Poland, and introduces disciplinary liability of judges for their judicial activity which is in compliance with the applicable law

The deans of the faculties of law of Poland’s most important universities issued a joint position on the members’ bill prohibiting judges from complying with the CJEU judgment and extending the disciplinary liability of judges, prosecutors and attorneys-at-law.


The bill, which also received a devastating assesment from the Supreme Court, was received by the Sejm at night on 12–13 December.


‘We consider it our duty to present our joint position to the public and to indicate to those in power in the country that passing the proposed solutions will undermine the fundamental constitutional principles on the basis of which the Republic of Poland functions, which arise from both the Constitution and European Union law.


The consequence of the proposed changes becoming effective will not only be the increase in the current legal chaos, but primarily the deprival of citizens of the real right to an independent and impartial hearing.


In its current shape, the bill is a serious threat to the functioning of a democratic state governed by the rule of law and judicial protection of individual rights, while the solutions contained in it require extensive reflection as to their potential, and largely irreversible legal effects. Its adoption may deprive the citizens of the Republic of Poland of their constitutional right to a ‘fair and public hearing of their case, without undue delay, before a competent, impartial and independent court’ (Article 45, para. 1 of the Polish Constitution),’ – write the deans.


The deans criticize the bill because:

  • it limits the autonomy of the judicial associations, as well as the rights of their governing bodies, to an excessive extent, expanding the powers of the bodies which are appointed by and dependent on the Minister of Justice;
  • it removes the issue of legality of the establishment and functioning of the bodies settling matters of citizens from judicial control in the situation in which the obligation to examine this arises not only from the applicable law, but also from two recent judgments, i.e. the judgment of the Supreme Court of 5 December 2019 (III PO 7/18) and the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 19 November 2019 (C-585/18, C-624/18 and C-625/18);
  • it unconstitutionally limits the fundamental rights and freedoms of judges as citizens of the Republic of Poland, including their right to associate, their right to privacy, their right to criticize the authorities and participate in public life and their right to obtain information and freedom of expression;
  • it introduces disciplinary liability for judges for their judicial activity which is in compliance with the applicable law and enables the removal of judges from service if they directly apply the provisions of the Constitution or European Union law.
  • the bill changes the method of election of the First President of the Supreme Court, making the procedure for selecting candidates for this office similar to the constitutional procedure of electing the current President of the Constitutional Tribunal, which gives rise to serious doubts to this day.


The position was signed by the deans of the faculties of law of the Jagiellonian University, the University of Warsaw, the University of Silesia, the University of Wrocław, the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, the University of Gdańsk, the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, the University of Łódź, the University of Opole, the Catholic University of Lublin, the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, the University of Szczecin and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.


The full text of the position in Polish


Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland



December 18, 2019


Supreme Courtrule of lawdisciplinary proceedingsjudicial independenceEuropean CommissionDisciplinary ChamberjudgesNational Council of the JudiciaryPolandCourt of JusticeConstitutional TribunalAndrzej DudaZbigniew ZiobroCourt of Justice of the EUpresidential electionsjudiciaryelections 2020European Unionpreliminary rulingsdemocracyMinister of JusticeJarosław Kaczyńskidisciplinary systemCommissioner for Human RightsFirst President of the Supreme CourtCJEUAdam Bodnarmuzzle lawIgor TuleyaCOVID-19OSCEdisciplinary commissionerPresidentProsecutor Generalprosecutorsfreedom of expressionLaw and Justiceelectionsacting first president of the Supreme CourtMay 10 2020 elections2017Freedom HouseExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs ChamberVenice CommissionConstitutionprosecutionNCJcriminal lawdisciplinary liability for judgesNational Electoral CommissionMarek SafjanKamil ZaradkiewiczGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court JudgesAleksander StepkowskiOrdo IurisEuropean Court of Human RightsPresident of PolandMałgorzata ManowskaJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesSejmWaldemar ŻurekZuzanna Rudzińska-Bluszczdemocratic backslidingdecommunizationMateusz MorawieckiPrime Ministerfreedom of assemblyJulia PrzyłębskaLaw on the NCJrecommendationHuman Rights CommissionerCCBEThe Council of Bars and Law Societies of EuropereportZiobroPM Mateusz MorawieckiEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawHungaryNational ProsecutorcoronavirusPiSC-791/19Wojciech Hermelińskiresolution of 23 January 2020Stanisław PiotrowiczPiotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakLeon KieresAndrzej ZollPKWMałgorzata Gersdorfinfringment actionEU valuesENCJlex NGOcivil societyRussiaIsraelforeign agents lawOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtPresident of the Republic of PolandLGBT free zonesequalityChamber of Extraordinary Verificationhate crimeshate speechcriminal codeGrzęda v PolandXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandBroda and Bojara v PolandŻurek v PolandSobczyńska and Others v PolandReczkowicz and Others v. PolandRafał Trzaskowskimedia independencemedia lawIustitiaKrystian MarkiewiczPrzemysła RadzikMichał LasotaSenateSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramMarcin WarchołElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiJacek CzaputowiczPrzemysław Czarneklegislative practiceEuropean Arrest WarrantENAAmsterdam District CourtZbigniew BoniekdefamationcourtsKrzysztof ParchimowiczOmbudsmanBeata MorawiecKraśnikNorwayNorwegian fundsNorwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairspopulismequal treatmentfundamental rightspoliceCT PresidentJustice Defence Committee – KOSEUWhite Paperlustrationtransitional justicepublic opinion pollSupreme Court President2018Nations in TransitCouncil of the EUStanisław ZabłockiArticle 7European ParliamentLIBE CommitteeFrans TimmermansUS Department of StateSwieczkowskiSupreme Administrative Courtadvocate generalpress releaseRights and Values ProgrammeconditionalityEU budgetC-619/18defamatory statementsWorld Justice Project awardintimidation of dissentersWojciech SadurskijudgetransferPechKochenovEvgeni TanchevFreedom in the WorldECJFrackowiakretirement ageAmnesty InternationalŁukasz PiebiakPiebiak gatehuman rightstrans-Atlantic valuesLSOlawyersAct of 20 December 2019repressive actKoen LenaertsharrassmentAlina CzubieniakMinistry of JusticeJustice FundGerard BirgfellerEwa Maciejewskapostal votepostal vote bill