National Prosecutor demanding that prosecutors snitch on independent judges

Share

Journalist at OKO.press and Archiwum Osiatyńskiego

More

A letter from National Prosecutor Bogdan Święczkowski to line prosecutors represents the opening of another front in Law and Justice’s fight to put a choke hold on the independence of the justice system.



The first report was made on 16 December 2019 by the right-wing and pro-government website wPolityce.pl. They claim that National Prosecutor Bogdan Święczkowski, right-hand man of Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, has sent a letter with official instructions to all line prosecutors in Poland.

 

He is alleged to have ordered them to “react to all attempts at undermining constitutional organs and institutions, in the context of activities by judges.”
The website gained access to the contents of Święczkowski’s letter. In it, the National Prosecutor informs line prosecutors that “all judges appointed by the President of Poland and given approval by the NCJ [National Council for the Judiciary] are legally adjudicating justices, and attempts at undermining their activities may violate the law.”

 

Święczkowski is also supposed to have emphasized that “engaging in the fight against efforts to destabilize the justice system is a duty of prosecutors around the entire country.”

 

What form is this fight supposed to take?

 

Święczkowski suggests that prosecutors should motion to disqualify judges “who subvert the constitutional authority of legally appointed colleagues.” They are also supposed to provide information on such cases to disciplinary officers.

 

This represents the opening of another front – following disciplinary proceedings and the draft bill submitted on 13 December – in Law and Justice’s (PiS) battle to throttle the independent judiciary. PiS is seeking to use a prosecutorial service subjugated to state authorities to have line prosecutors snitch on judges who seek to apply the EU Court of Justice’s most recent judgement.

 

This is a test of whether Zbigniew Ziobro has succeeded in his purge of the prosecutorial service.

 

Revenge for applying CJEU judgement

 

Backed by judgements of the CJEU and Poland’s Supreme Court, judges around Poland have been empowered to examine the independence of the new NCJ, whose members, following legislative amendments forced through by PiS, are no longer selected by their peers in the judiciary, but by politicians in the Sejm.

 

The Council participates in the process of appointing judges around the country. The recognition of its dependence on the authorities places their status in question, as well as the validity of their judgements and rulings.

 

This is why the questioning of the status of the neo-NCJ – the crown jewel in the Zbigniew Ziobro’s “reform” of the judiciary – is so irritating to PiS politicians. To prevent it, the party led by Jarosław Kaczyński has submitted “subordination” draft legislation designed to shut up independent judges and prosecutors, as well as to sanction “reforms” incompatible with EU law.

 

Now, line prosecutors have been drafted to provide backup.

 

Whose prosecutorial service is it?

 

The letter by Święczkowski is also a test of whether Zbigniew Ziobro has succeeded in his attempted purge of the prosecutorial service.

 

This purge has been underway since 4 March 2016, when the PiS-led “reform” came into force. This legislation combined the positions of Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General – both of which are now held by Ziobro.

 

His first deputy and National Prosecutor is Bogdan Święczkowski.

 

A cleanout of the prosecutorial service was initiated, whose scale is described in the report “Prokuratura pod specjalnym nadzorem. Kadry i postępowanie »dobrej zmiany«” [“Prosecutors under a watchful eye. Staffing and the conduct of ‘good change’”] The effects? Line prosecutors subservient to the authorities, shuffling of cadres, promotions for buddies and demotion for “uncomfortable” prosecutors.

 

Independent prosecutors, affiliated in the “Lex Super Omnia” association, are facing attacks from the head of the prosecutorial service. Krzysztof Parchimowicz, head of “Lex Super Omnia”, is facing numerous disciplinary proceedings for his defence of judicial independence.

 

PiS is also seeking to turn the screws on them with a new “subordination” bill. They will be required to explain their activity in social media, as well as membership in associations. In addition, new and harsh punishments will be imposed on them for disciplinary infringements, including potential disqualification from the profession.

 

“I am confident that such repressive legislation will not lend itself to turning prosecutors into supporters of the government. [From among current supporters] will remain those faithful to the political leadership of the prosecutorial service: those who consent to the status quo and benefit from the current arrangement,” said Parchimowicz.

 

[translated by Matthew La Fontaine]



Author


Journalist at OKO.press and Archiwum Osiatyńskiego


More

Published

December 16, 2019

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary ChamberConstitutional Tribunaldisciplinary proceedingsPolandrule of lawZbigniew Ziobrojudicial independenceCourt of Justice of the EUEuropean CommissionNational Council of the JudiciaryjudgesEuropean UnionCourt of JusticeMałgorzata ManowskaAndrzej DudaIgor Tuleyadisciplinary systemCommissioner for Human RightsEuropean Court of Human RightsCJEUMinister of JusticeMateusz MorawieckiJarosław Kaczyńskipresidential electionsjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsdemocracyK 3/21muzzle lawHungaryelections 2020Kamil ZaradkiewiczBeata MorawiecFirst President of the Supreme CourtprosecutorsWaldemar Żurekdisciplinary commissionerEuropean Arrest WarrantProsecutor GeneralConstitutionCOVID-19Julia PrzyłębskaPresidentmedia freedomfreedom of expressionCourt of Justice of the European Unioncriminal lawMarek SafjanAleksander StepkowskiOSCEPaweł JuszczyszynNational Public ProsecutorPiotr SchabPrzemysław Radzikcriminal proceedingsPrime Ministerfreedom of assemblyStanisław BiernatExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs ChamberSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJMinistry of JusticeNational ProsecutorelectionsWojciech HermelińskiStanisław PiotrowiczAndrzej ZollMałgorzata Gersdorfacting first president of the Supreme CourtOrdo IurisMay 10 2020 electionsBroda and Bojara v Polandmedia independenceAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczTHEMISMaciej NawackiEAWmediaimmunityAnna DalkowskaCouncil of Europe2017policeFreedom HouseLech GarlickiEwa ŁętowskaArticle 7Venice CommissionWłodzimierz WróbelPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaP 7/20Justice FundPiSC-791/19disciplinary liability for judgesNational Electoral CommissionAstradsson v IcelandPiotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakPegasusGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court JudgesPresident of PolandPresident of the Republic of PolandJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesSejmXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandReczkowicz and Others v. PolandIustitiaKrystian MarkiewiczMichał LasotaZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramdefamationcourtsEwa WrzosekEU law primacyTVPLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskijudcial independencedemocratic backslidingViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetoJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJJustice Defence Committee – KOSrecommendationTeresa Dębowska-RomanowskaKazimierz DziałochaMirosław GranatAdam JamrózStefan JaworskiBiruta Lewaszkiewicz-PetrykowskaWojciech ŁączkowskiHuman 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 ParliamentOKO.pressZiobroMichał LaskowskiMarek PietruszyńskiPiotr Gąciarekhuman rightscorruptionEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiAdam SynakiewiczBelarusstate of emergencyneo-judgescoronavirusXero Flor v. PolandEU treatiesAgnieszka Niklas-BibikSłupsk Regional CourtMaciej Rutkiewiczresolution of 23 January 2020K 6/21Mirosław WróblewskiCivil ChamberJoanna Misztal-KoneckaLeon Kieresright to protestSławomir JęksaPKWWiktor JoachimkowskiRoman GiertychMariusz Kamińskiinfringment actionsurveillanceEU valuesMichał WośMinistry of FinanceCentral Anti-Corruption BureauENCJJacek SasinErnest Bejdalex NGOThe First President of the Supreme Courtcivil societyMaciej CzajkaRussiaMariusz JałoszewskiIsraelŁukasz Radkeforeign agents lawpolexitNational Recovery PlanK 7/21Dolińska-Ficek and Ozimek v PolandOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtLGBT free zonesequalityChamber of Extraordinary Verificationhate crimeshate speechcriminal codeGrzęda v PolandŻurek v PolandSobczyńska and Others v PolandRafał Trzaskowskimedia lawPrzemysła RadzikSenateMarcin WarchołElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiJacek CzaputowiczPrzemysław Czarneklegislative practiceENAZbigniew BoniekOmbudsmanKraśnikNorwayNorwegian fundsNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsC-487/19Article 6 ECHRArticle 10 ECHRRegional Court in AmsterdamOpenbaar MinisterieUrsula von der LeyenAK judgmentSimpson judgmentForum Współpracy Sędziówpublic broadcastermutual trustLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamthe Regional Court in WarsawUnited NationsLeszek 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 WyborczaUS 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 WawrzykharrassmentMarian BanaśAlina CzubieniakSupreme Audit OfficeTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediapostal voteKrakówRzeszówDagmara Pawełczyk-Woickaborderpostal vote billprimacy