Prosecution of Bydgoszcz judges by Radzik. The president will not intervene. ‘Premature and unauthorised’
The president of the District Court in Bydgoszcz does not intend – at least for the time being – to stand up in defence of the three judges in whose judgment Przemysław Radzik took an interest. ‘I believe the defence of the independence of the court also requires me, just as any judge, to be prudent in my comments,’ Jarosław Błażejewski tells us.
by Anna Gmiterek-Zabłocka, published in TOK FM
Just as a brief reminder, this is about the case of three judges from Bydgoszcz – Bożena Więckowska, Dorota Wiese-Stefanek and Karolina Lubinska. In April 2022, they ruled on the imposition of a 15,000 zloty fine on the president of the District Court in Olsztyn, Maciej Nawacki, for failing to reinstate Paweł Juszczyszyn. The ruling of the judges from Bydgoszcz also included a stipulation that if Nawacki does not pay the fine, the penalty could be changed to 15 days in jail. The matter attracted the interest of disciplinary commissioner Przemysław Radzik, who demanded explanations. (TOK FM reported on this in greater detail here).
According to the judges from Bydgoszcz, but also from other cities, the disciplinary commissioner’s actions are expected to have a chilling effect. They are an attempt to influence the independence and impartiality of judges.
‘Premature and unauthorised’
We asked the president of the District Court in Bydgoszcz (where three judges work) if he would take a position on the matter. In the response to TOK FM, President Jarosław Błażejewski stated that he is unaware of any cases of ‘harassment’ of judges from the District Court in Bydgoszcz.
‘As the president of the District Court in Bydgoszcz, I know nothing of the disciplinary case possibly taking place to which your letter refers,’ Błażejewski wrote back to us. ‘In this situation, I consider it premature and unauthorised to present a position on behalf of the court,’ he added.
He also emphasised that ‘the court’s management takes all possible steps to ensure that judges of the Bydgoszcz court are able to adjudicate with full judicial independence.’
‘In my opinion, a defence of the court’s independence also requires me, just as any judge, to be prudent in my comments on specific proceedings about which we find out from media reports,’ wrote the president in his response to TOK FM.
Previously, other judges, including representatives of Iustitia from Bydgoszcz, stood up in defence of the Bydgoszcz judges. They emphasised, among other things, that the judges were operating within the limits of the law, while that the actions of the disciplinary commissioner undermine judicial independence.
They also wrote that they are demanding that the authorities of the District Court in Bydgoszcz take appropriate action. ‘This is because the essence of performing the functions entrusted to the court authorities is to ensure (…) an equal and effective defence of every citizen for all judges, conditions for performing judicial duties effectively and in a manner that is free from any pressure,’ they emphasised in their position.
Translated by Roman Wojtasz