Judges under fire: 43 judges already targeted by disciplinary officer and prosecutors

More than 40 judges are being targeted by people loyal to Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro for their rulings, defence of judicial independence, meetings with citizens, criticism of “good change”, or implementation of CJEU judgments. 2019 was a difficult year for judges, in which Law and Justice (PiS) sought to break their resistance through repressions. What follows is a list of the persecuted judges.

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Prof. Marc de Werd: Standing up for justice and the justice system is a shared responsibility of European citizens

As far as I can remember, this is the first time that judges from the Netherlands have joined a silent march at all. Marching together with other judges from Europe in another country is unique. And I know it is politically sensitive. It emphasizes how much we are worried about what’s going on in Poland and elsewhere in Europe,” a senior judge of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal explained his reasons for joining Polish colleagues in a silent protest in Warsaw against curbing the independence of judges in Poland.

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President of the European Association of Judges: The recent law reforms in Poland will annihilate the independence of the judiciary

President of the European Association of Judges, José Igreja Matos, explains why he and other judges will join his Polish colleagues in a silent protest in Warsaw on 11 January against the planned curbs on judicial independence. “The decay of the rule of law in Europe is demanding a more public intervention from us, from European judges”

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Minister Ziobro: “Speaker of the Senate breached the Constitution by inviting the Venice Commission”. He did not breach it

“Representatives of the Ministry of Justice can meet with the representatives of the Venice Commission, treating their arrival a little like a quasi-private visit,” said Zbigniew Ziobro in TV Trwam on 8 January. The minister is of the opinion that the invitation of the Commission to Warsaw by the Speaker of the Senate, Tomasz Grodzki, was an abuse. The facts speak differently

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Commissioner for Human Rights: “Repression” Act strikes at citizens. The Senate should reject it.

It breaches the constitution and violates the basic principles of the Polish legal order. It is in conflict with Poland’s obligations to the European Union, it strikes at the guaranteed protection of the European Convention on Human Rights. In the Senate, Adam Bodnar tore the “Repression” Act that is being forced through by Law and Justice to shreds

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The Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court as an exceptional court

The Disciplinary Chamber satisfies features of an exceptional court, despite its nominal inclusion in the structure of the Supreme Court. As a result, fundamental doubts arise as to whether the rulings issued by this chamber are judicial decisions in the meaning of the Constitution – argues prof. Włodzimierz Wróbel (Jagiellonian University)

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Polish President doing his best to attack every judge and lawyer in Europe

“I feel ashamed when I see that the First President of the Supreme Court can say such things about Poland. Ashamed that someone like that was ever appointed to that office. Thankfully, this will soon change.” This is how Polish President Andrzej Duda referred on government-controlled TVP to the First President of the Supreme Court, professor Małgorzata Gersdorf

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

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

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Further repressions against justices for posing question of law to Supreme Court

Disciplinary officer Przemysław Radzik has brought disciplinary charges for violating the dignity of the office of judge and accused two justices of abuse of power for implementing a CJEU verdict. This is punishment for their courage in querying the legality of the new National Council of the Judiciary (NCJ) and of the judges promoted by it. Radzik is also seeking to suspend both judges.

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First President of the Supreme Court: It is not the judges who are destroying and anarchising the Polish State. It is the political power

The First President of the Supreme Court prof. Małgorzata Gersdorf in a powerful open letter asks Polish authorities that the hatred of judges and courts stops being used as a weapon in the struggle for power.

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