Kaczyński details PiS plans for “vetting” Polish judges after Sunday’s election
The head of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has stated that the ruling party will complete its “reform” of the justice system, overcoming what he calls “the last barrier”. Kaczyński invokes the Polish constitution, which provides mechanisms for the reorganization of the courts. In practice, this will mean a vetting of all judges in the country and the removal of those who fail to toe the line.
Undemocratic but Formally Lawful: The Suspension of the Polish Parliament
While the attention of many constitutional law scholars has been on the UK Government’s decision to prorogue Parliament and first judicial responses, the Polish Sejm’s plenary sitting has been unexpectedly suspended and postponed until after the general elections of 13 October 2019. The decision has a precedential nature. For the first time since the Polish Constitution entered into force, the ‘old’ Sejm is sitting while the ‘new’ Sejm will be waiting for an opening. Although this decision is formally compliant with the Polish Constitution, it is nonetheless undemocratic and raises some serious questions about the motivation behind this move.
AG Tanchev gives robust defence of judges’ right to turn to CJEU
CJEU Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev confirmed that judges may pose preliminary questions to the Court of Justice concerning their independence in the context of the disciplinary system for judges in EU Member States.
Poland’s Justice Minister Continues Dissembling about Judiciary “Reform”
The Law and Justice government argues that the reforms introduced since 2015 do not differ from solutions in place elsewhere. But Law and Justice has politicised the National Council of the Judiciary and subjugated the Constitutional Tribunal. They are trying to take over the Supreme Court and is going after judges who dare to voice criticism. They have carried out a ghastly purge in the public prosecutorial service. Every particular change is troubling, but all the more so when viewed in its entirety.
“Kings of Life” in Polish prosecutor’s office – a report by the LSO Prosecutors’ Association
The report details the negative consequences of the changes in the prosecutorial service implemented by the Law and Justice government. It also reveals a number of pathological situations related mainly to personnel policy as the foundation of the so-called prosecutorial reform.
Harassment campaign conducted against leader of independent prosecutors
Krzysztof Parchimowicz, head of the Lex Super Omnia association of prosecutors, is the target of over a dozen different disciplinary proceedings. This is being done to exert a chilling effect on prosecutors who are critical of changes in the justice system that are being rammed through by the governing majority in Poland.
Faced with Doubts over Body’s Legality, Judiciary Council President Remains Unrepentant
During his report to the Parliament, the president of the neo-KRS declared that the members of the Council would not leave their posts even in the event the CJEU rules against them. Only the Polish authorities can force them out.
An interview with Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska, who refuses to adjudicate with Radzik. “I’m not afraid. My oath is to the Republic.”
Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska was the first justice in Poland to adjudicate with a judge whose name arose in conjunction with a smear campaign against independent judges. Bator-Ciesielska is already being prosecuted by the disciplinary spokesman, but in an interview with Mariusz Jałoszewski of OKO.press she says that judges must have a conscience, and that she is not afraid because judges cannot be afraid.
Warsaw judge asks the EU Court of Justice whether the powers of the Polish Minister of Justice are compatible with EU law
Anna Bator-Ciesielska, a justice of the District Court in Warsaw, has distinguished herself as another brave Polish judge. Judge Bator-Ciesielska referred questions to the EU Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on the powers of the Minister of Justice and on the status of the new National Council of the Judiciary, the majority of whose members are now elected by politicians rather than by judges, as the Constitution dictates. The filing also asks whether rulings issued by the Supreme Court will be valid under European law if a representative of the new NCJ is involved in the process of assigning cases to the Supreme Court.
Ex-diplomats urge Trump to pressure Poland on rule of law
In Poland, the process of flouting and bending our Constitution has been on the rise for several years. The division of powers is being dismantled and the independent judiciary is being destroyed. Human rights are curtailed – former ambassadors write to POTUS
CJEU to assess model of disciplinary responsibility of judges in Poland [list of cases]
CJEU: disciplinary action against judges for asking questions of the Court is unacceptable
Muzzle Law leads German court to refuse extradition of a Pole to Poland under the European Arrest Warrant
More than 100 academics from Poland express solidarity with harassed judge Igor Tuleya
MEP Šimečka: “There’s no Brussels police which could come and bend the Polish government to its will. And this is good.”