Polish court challenges Disciplinary Chamber’s order. Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn can return to adjudicating

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

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This is a precedent-setting and sensational judgment. For the first time, a Polish court has directly challenged a decision of the illegal Disciplinary Chamber. The judgment of the court in Olsztyn is immediately enforceable, which means that Pawel Juszczyszyn can return to work in court.



The judgment was issued on 10 May 2021 by a three-member bench of the Regional Court in Olsztyn.

 

It was issued by the judges of the civil division: Juliusz Ciejek (presiding judge), Przemysław Jagosz and Wojciech Wacław.

 

In the judgment, the court withheld the implementation of the decision of the illegal Disciplinary Chamber of February 2020 to suspend Paweł Juszczyszyn from his duties as a judge and cut his salary by 40%. The judgment was issued as a protective order ahead of the filing of a lawsuit against the Disciplinary Chamber and the First President of the Supreme Court by the judge.

 

This means that the judge should be admitted to perform his duties as a judge – including adjudicating – in his home District Court in Olsztyn from Wednesday 12 May. However, it should be expected that its president, Maciej Nawacki (a nominee of Ziobro’s ministry) and simultaneously a member of the new NCJ, will again obstruct the performance of the ruling which is favourable for Juszczyszyn.

 

‘The Regional Court in Olsztyn is another independent, impartial and brave court, which unequivocally states that my removal from adjudication is groundless. Because the so-called resolution of the Disciplinary Chamber that applies to me cannot constitute such grounds. This was not a decision of the Supreme Court,’ says Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn.

 

And adds: ‘In this situation, the president of the District Court has no right to claim that he is not allowing me to work because he is implementing the so-called resolution of the Chamber. Except, because I have just ended up in quarantine, I will make another attempt to take up work immediately after it ends’.

 

How did the precedent-setting ruling on the Disciplinary Chamber come about?

 

Judge Pawel Juszczyszyn applied for the protective order because he intends to sue the Disciplinary Chamber for the protection of his personal rights. In the statement of claim, he will demand the establishment that the decision to suspend him and reduce his salary is not a decision of a legal Supreme Court. He will also demand the removal of the decision from the court’s website.

 

In order to secure his rights pending a final ruling – the proceedings may last several years – the judge has applied for a so-called protective order. This is precisely what happened.

 

In this protective order, the Olsztyn court also ordered the Supreme Court to post information next to the decision to suspend Juszczyszyn stating that ‘the effectiveness and enforceability [of this decision of the Disciplinary Chamber – ed.] has been suspended for the duration of the proceedings on the establishment that the resolution described is not a decision of the Supreme Court’.

 

The decision of the court in Olsztyn is not final, but it is already enforceable. An appeal may be filed against it with the Supreme Court. The judgment was passed in camera and there is no written justification yet. However, the court in Olsztyn had to analyse the legality of the Disciplinary Chamber and the effectiveness of the decisions it issues.

 

Translated by Roman Wojtasz

 

This is a shortened version of an article posted on OKO.press on May 11, 2021.

 



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


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May 12, 2021

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