Half a million for prosecuting defiant judges. The Law and Justice authority is throwing money at Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners

Share

Journalist covering law and politics for OKO.press. Previously journalist at Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Polska The Times, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.

More

Increasingly more people are involved in prosecuting and repressing independent judges. Not only have other judges joined Schab’s, Radzik’s and Lasota’s team of disciplinary commissioners, but so have assistants. The costs of employing them are also increasing, because they spent PLN 156,000 on travel and accommodation alone last year.



OKO.press obtained information about the costs of the activities of the chief disciplinary commissioner, Piotr Schab, and his two deputies, Przemysław Radzik and Michał Lasota who were all nominated by Minister Ziobro, who appointed them in mid-2018.

 

Little was known until now about how their office works. All the more so that the disciplinary commissioners are unlikely to divulge any information about their work. However, we managed to obtain data showing how much their ‘work’, which primarily involves prosecuting independent judges, is costing the taxpayers.

 

How Schab’s, Radzik’s and Lasota’s team has grown

 

According to data in the possession of OKO.press, 12 people were working for the office of the disciplinary commissioner for judges in October 2020. They are primarily Schab, Radzik, Lasota and the disciplinary commissioner for military judges, Major Andrzej Wilczewski.

 

In comparison, only three people were working for the office of the chief disciplinary commissioner for judges of the ordinary courts in 2017, before Schab and his deputies were appointed. They were the chief disciplinary commissioner Marek Hibner, the disciplinary commissioner for military judges Andrzej Wilczewski and a senior specialist (who has been working in the secretarial office since 1989).

 

The current organisation for prosecuting judges has been growing systematically. When Minister Ziobro appointed Schab, Radzik and Lasota as disciplinary commissioners in June 2018, only one person was working in their office. This was a senior specialist who had been working there for many years. Three new people appeared at the end of 2018, two assistant judges and another senior specialist.

 

The disciplinary commissioners received strong substantive support in the spring of 2019. Because Minister Ziobro seconded two judges, Beata Adamczyk-Łabuda and Edyta Dzielińska (both from the District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw) and another assistant judge to work for the disciplinary commissioner’s office. A Senior Counsellor also started to work for that office. We wrote in OKO.press about the protest of the Warsaw judges criticising their colleagues for working for Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners.

 

How much does the employment of Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners cost the taxpayer?

 

Not only has Schab’s, Radzik’s and Lasota’s team grown. The cost of employing them has also increased. In 2018, when they started to conduct their activities, the upkeep of the chief disciplinary commissioner and his office cost PLN 232k. This year, PLN 103k was spent on salaries, while PLN 53.7k was spent on travel and accommodation of the disciplinary commissioner and his deputies. A further PLN 44k was spent on the lease of office space and PLN 27k was spent on furnishing it.

 

The costs increased to PLN 529k in 2019. As much as PLN 156k was spent on travel and accommodation for the chief disciplinary commissioner and his deputies, while PLN 77.5k was spent on people seconded to work for his office. The salaries of the secretarial staff and the commissioner’s deputies cost PLN 222k. PLN 9.6k was spent on current expenses on maintaining the office, while PLN 64k was spent on the lease of office space.

 

The upkeep of Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners had already cost PLN 346k up to September 2020.

 

In contrast, the maintenance of the chief disciplinary commissioner and his office cost PLN 174k in 2017. He occupied 3 rooms of an area of 68.5 square metres.

 

Now, Ziobro’s commissioners have 8 rooms of an area of 190 square metres available to them, on the upkeep of which they have already spent PLN 80k this year.

 

How Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners cranked up the disciplinary repressions of independent judges

Therefore, it arises from the data in the possession of OKO.press that it costs the state budget three times more to keep Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners than their predecessor, Judge Marek Hibner.

 

This is because they have more work. However, it was Schab, Radzik and Lasota, who made more work for themselves. They have been given more powers and have focused on multiplying disciplinary proceedings against defiant judges. They are being prosecuted for defending the free courts, for their independent judgments which the authorities do not like, for criticising the ‘good change’ in the media and for meetings with citizens.

 

The best-known judges they are prosecuting are Waldemar Żurek, the former press officer of the old and legal NCJ, Igor Tuleya, who is already a symbol of the free courts, and Paweł Juszczyszyn, who was the first to implement the CJEU judgment regarding the new NCJ in Poland. Over 100 judges are already being prosecuted by Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners. We have published the list of these judges in OKO.press and will shortly update it, because new judges are still being entered onto the list.

 

How Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioners are ‘furthering their own careers’

Schab, Radzik and Lasota are taking advantage of their work with Minister Ziobro. Radzik, who was appointed by Minister Ziobro, is the president of the District Court in Krosno Odrzańskie, while Michał Lasota is the president of the district court in Nowe Miasto Lubawskie. Both of them were seconded to the Regional Court in Warsaw, the largest court in Poland by way of a decision of the justice ministry.

 

All of them are being promoted. Piotr Schab was promoted to the Court of Appeal in Warsaw as a result of the recommendations of the new NCJ. Michał Lasota received such a promotion to the Regional Court in Elbląg. Meanwhile, Przemysław Radzik was recently promoted to the Court of Appeal in Warsaw (even though he is a district court judge). Radzik’s wife, Gabriela Zalewska-Radzik, was also promoted. Although she was a legal counsel to date, she was promoted to the Supreme Administrative Court. The group of so-called hawks in the new NCJ were among those who supported her candidacy and Radzik. We wrote about this in OKO.press.

 

This is not the end of the benefits. Dziennik Gazeta Prawna wrote that the Minister Ziobro’s ministry is considering allowances of several thousand zlotys for judges from the ‘good change’. As a result, Piotr Schab, the chief disciplinary commissioner could receive an additional PLN 5,000 per month.

 

Translated by Roman Wojtasz



Author


Journalist covering law and politics for OKO.press. Previously journalist at Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Polska The Times, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.


More

Published

November 16, 2020

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary Chamberdisciplinary proceedingsPolandrule of lawConstitutional Tribunaljudicial independenceZbigniew ZiobroEuropean CommissionCourt of Justice of the EUjudgesNational Council of the JudiciaryCourt of JusticeEuropean UnionAndrzej DudaIgor TuleyaMałgorzata Manowskadisciplinary systemMinister of JusticeCommissioner for Human RightsEuropean Court of Human RightsMateusz MorawieckiCJEUpresidential electionsjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsdemocracymuzzle lawHungaryJarosław Kaczyńskielections 2020Beata MorawiecFirst President of the Supreme CourtprosecutorsKamil Zaradkiewiczdisciplinary commissionerEuropean Arrest WarrantCOVID-19PresidentProsecutor GeneralConstitutionfreedom of expressioncriminal lawMarek SafjanOSCEWaldemar ŻurekPaweł JuszczyszynNational Public ProsecutorPiotr SchabPrzemysław Radzikcriminal proceedingsPrime MinisterJulia PrzyłębskaExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chambermedia freedomSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJNational ProsecutorelectionsWojciech HermelińskiStanisław PiotrowiczAndrzej ZollMałgorzata Gersdorfacting first president of the Supreme CourtAleksander StepkowskiOrdo IurisMay 10 2020 electionsmedia independenceAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczMaciej NawackiEAWmediaimmunityAnna DalkowskaCouncil of Europe2017freedom of assemblyFreedom HouseLech GarlickiStanisław BiernatArticle 7Venice CommissionWłodzimierz WróbelPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaK 3/21P 7/20Ministry of JusticeC-791/19disciplinary liability for judgesNational Electoral CommissionGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court JudgesPresident of PolandPresident of the Republic of PolandJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesSejmBroda and Bojara v PolandMichał LasotaZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramdefamationTHEMISTVPLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskidemocratic backslidingViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetopoliceJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJJustice Defence Committee – KOSrecommendationTeresa Dębowska-RomanowskaKazimierz DziałochaMirosław GranatAdam JamrózStefan JaworskiBiruta Lewaszkiewicz-PetrykowskaWojciech ŁączkowskiEwa ŁętowskaHuman Rights CommissionerMarek MazurkiewiczCCBEAndrzej MączyńskiThe Council of Bars and Law Societies of EuropeJanusz NiemcewiczMałgorzata Pyziak- SzafnickaStanisław Rymarpublic opinion pollFerdynand RymarzAndrzej RzeplińskiSupreme Court PresidentJerzy StępieńPiotr TulejaSławomira Wronkowska-JaśkiewiczMirosław WyrzykowskireportBohdan ZdziennickiMarek ZubikDidier ReyndersEuropean ParliamentZiobroMichał LaskowskiMarek PietruszyńskiPiotr Gąciarekhuman rightscorruptionEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawCourt of Justice of the European UnionJustice FundAdam SynakiewiczcoronavirusPiSresolution of 23 January 2020Piotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakLeon KieresPKWinfringment actionEU valuesENCJlex NGOcivil societyRussiaIsraelforeign agents lawOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtLGBT free zonesequalityChamber of Extraordinary Verificationhate crimeshate speechcriminal codeGrzęda v PolandXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandŻurek v PolandSobczyńska and Others v PolandReczkowicz and Others v. PolandRafał Trzaskowskimedia lawIustitiaKrystian MarkiewiczPrzemysła RadzikSenateMarcin WarchołElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiJacek CzaputowiczPrzemysław Czarneklegislative practiceENAZbigniew BoniekcourtsOmbudsmanKraśnikNorwayNorwegian fundsNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsC-487/19Article 6 ECHRArticle 10 ECHRRegional Court in AmsterdamOpenbaar MinisterieUrsula von der LeyenEwa WrzosekAK judgmentSimpson judgmentEU law primacyForum Współpracy Sędziówpublic broadcastermutual trustLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamthe Regional Court in WarsawUnited Nationsjudcial independenceLeszek MazurMaciej Miterapopulisminterim measuresautocratizationMultiannual Financial Frameworkabortion rulingequal treatmentabortionprotestsfundamental rightsthe NetherlandsDenmarkSwedenFinlandMariusz KrasońCT PresidentGermanyCelmerC354/20 PPUC412/20 PPUAusl 301 AR 104/19Karlsruheact on misdemeanoursCivil Service ActParliamentary Assembly of the Council of EuropeEUWhite Paperlustrationtransitional justice2018Nations in TransitCouncil of the EUmedia taxStanisław Zabłockiadvertising taxmediabezwyboruJacek KurskiKESMAIndex.huTelex.huJelenJózsef SzájerKlubrádióSLAPPLIBE CommitteeStrategic Lawsuits Against Public ParticipationFrans TimmermansGazeta WyborczaOKO.pressUS Department of StatePollitykaBrussels IRome IISwieczkowskiArticle 2Forum shoppingadvocate generalDariusz ZawistowskitransparencyEuropean Economic and Social Committeepress releaseSebastian KaletaRights and Values ProgrammeC-156/21C-157/21C-619/18Marek Piertuszyńskidefamatory statementsWorld Justice Project awardNational Prosecutor’s Officeintimidation of dissentersWojciech SadurskiBogdan ŚwiączkowskiDisicplinary ChamberjudgeTribunal of StatetransferPechOlsztyn courtKochenovPrzemysła CzarnekEvgeni TanchevEducation MinisterFreedom in the WorldKrystyna PawłowiczECJIpsosFrackowiakOlimpia Barańska-Małuszeretirement ageMariusz MuszyńskiAmnesty InternationalHudocŁukasz PiebiakRegional Court in KrakówPiebiak gateKonrad SzymańskiPiotr Bogdanowicztrans-Atlantic valuesPiotr BurasLSOauthoritarian equilibriumlawyersArticle 258Act of 20 December 2019clientelismoligarchic systemRecovery FundEuropean Public Prosecutor's Officerepressive actPolish National FoundationLux VeritatisKoen LenaertsMałgorzata BednarekPiotr WawrzykPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiharrassmentMarian BanaśAlina CzubieniakSupreme Audit OfficeTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerBelarusEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediastate of emergencypostal votepostal vote bill