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."
What follows is a translation of an article published at right-wing portal niezalezna.pl on 5 September 2020.
ONLY HERE! “The court broke through the communist censorship.” Jarosław Kaczyński on the prohibition to write about Bonek
“Anyone who takes an honest look at this matter can see that it was not about compliance with the law, but about some other considerations”, says Jarosław Kaczyński, Chairman of the Law and Justice Party, in an interview with Katarzyna Gójska. This is how he referred to the prohibition received by Piotr Nisztor, an investigative journalist from Gazeta Polska. He is not allowed to publish articles on Zbigniew Bonek, chairman of the Polish Football Association, for 12 months. “We should strongly protest against such practices, because they have nothing to do with democracy,” added Chairman Kaczyński.
Katarzyna Gójska: Mr. Chairman, the Regional Court in Warsaw has issued an injunction, which, in practice, prohibits a journalist from GP from writing for a year about Zbigniew Bońek, the chairman of the Polish Football Association in almost every respect. We do not know what the justification is for this decision; it was passed behind closed doors. How can such action by the court be assessed?
Jarosław Kaczyński: In some respects, this beats the censorship of the communist times. This decision is incredible, in conflict with the constitution and common sense. It is difficult not to get the impression that, when deciding on this, one way or another, the court was acting in some interests.
I don’t know which interests, but anyone who takes an honest look at this can see that it was not about compliance with the law, but about some other considerations.
The head of the Polish Football Association was treated as a person who has some extraordinary privileges, as if he were a citizen who deserves special rights and special treatment. Imagine that I were to file a motion with the court to issue an injunction against writing about me in advance and for a year. Of course, I am saying this jokingly, but if we were to accept the principle of equality before the law, to which everyone is entitled and which is clearly specified in the constitution, then anyone holding a public office could demand such extraordinary protection.
But quite seriously, we are dealing with a matter that requires a response and poses a threat to the freedom of speech in Poland. We should strongly protest against such practices, because they have nothing to do with democracy. This matter is one more argument in support of the need for a profound reform of the judiciary. Not only in the institutional and organizational sense, but also in the personal sense.
Judge Rafał Wagner, who issued the injunction, which essentially constitutes preventive censorship, was entered by the opponents of the reform of the judiciary onto the list of the so-called “freedom judges”.
This is what could be referred to as a miserable rule of law burlesque. Because 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.
And only such a determined attitude with respect to this state-destroying pathology can bring results and, over the next few years, eliminate what hurts so many citizens.
Obviously, mistakes will always be made in the judiciary – certain mistakes – but, after all, this is not about mistakes here, but about flagrant breaches of the law by the courts.
It is worth looking at this problem in a broader context: it is a phenomenon that devastates public life and is related to others, such as the aim of the judges to have legislative authority. After all, this was written explicitly in one of the justifications for the Supreme Court’s decisions.
And all this is supposed to lead to a change in the system in Poland. From democracy to some form of a tribunal system, namely an undemocratic, even oligarchic order.
Mr. Chairman, the EC, the EP and politicians from other countries are accusing the Polish authorities of destroying the independence of the courts, and therefore the freedom of citizens, but meanwhile a judge, described by his Polish allies as a “freedom judge”, issues a decision that brutally blocks freedom of speech.
The assessment of the situation in Poland formulated by various international bodies is counterfactual.
This actually has nothing to do with reality. I will say it once again: Our country indeed has a problem with the rule of law, but its main and dominant sources are the courts that breach the law and do not care about the constitution.
Therefore, changing this state of affairs – through the reform of the judiciary – is nothing more than an attempt to eliminate this pathology and restore the rule of law in Poland, by restoring respect for the constitution.
Piotr Nisztor has been publishing articles in Gazeta Polska and Gazeta Polska Codziennie for several months about the doubts surrounding the functioning of the Polish Football Association, chaired by Zbigniew Bonek, a former football player from Widzew Łódź and Juventus. On 27 August 2020, Judge Rafał Wagner from the First Civil Division of the Regional Court in Warsaw decided to impose an injunction on the journalist from publishing content about Bonek for a year. He also ordered the removal of those already posted in YouTube and Twitter.