Report on repression against Polish judges and prosecutors

Share

Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland

More

"Justice under pressure – repressions as a means of attempting to take control over the judiciary and the prosecution in Poland in 2015-2019" report was prepared by the Association of Polish Judges "Iustitia" and association of prosecutors "Lex Super Omnia"



Introduction

 

In 2017, as part of a package of legal changes to the judiciary, a disciplinary system was created in Poland to ensure that judges were subservient to the political will of the authorities. Piotr Schab and his deputies, Przemysław W. Radzik and Michał Lasota, the disciplinary prosecutor of common court judges, appointed by the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General, almost from the moment of their appointment, have targeted judges who opposed unconstitutional changes in the judiciary.

 

There can be many pretexts: a public statement, putting on a T-shirt with the inscription “Constitution”, asking the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, or a verdict which does not in line with the intention of the prosecution or political authority.

 

Disciplinary proceedings are by no means the only repressions that affect judges who demand that other authorities respect the rule of law in Poland. Such judges either have their departments closed or the scope of their activities is changed so that they have to rule on cases with which they have not previously been in contact. It is easier in such a situation to make a mistake and give a pretext for disciplinary proceedings.

 

This is a report which is a compilation of the most blatant cases of repression against Polish judges. Each repression has two sides – there is a victim, but there is also a perpetrator.

 

Repressions have specific faces, and behind each of them stands a person. That is why we decided that these faces should be shown to the public. We present not only the people who have fallen victim to repression by the disciplinary and official apparatus, but also public officers – judges, prosecutors, who are responsible for using various methods of pressure and harassment.

 

Th is report presents not only information about the investigations and disciplinary proceedings, but also the so-called soft repressions, consisting, among other things, in the exercise of the powers vested in court presidents, which bear features of harassment or mobbing (legal harassment). An example is the unjustified transfer to another department where a judge has never ruled, or administrative supervision of all cases from a judge’s unit, which makes it necessary to continuously write reports on the course of cases. A specific repression that has been revealed in recent months is the action of discrediting and using hate speech against judges online and offline.

 

As reported in the media, these actions have been instigated and managed by offi cers connected with the political power of the Ministry of Justice, by the so-called National Council of the Judiciary, or by deputy disciplinary prosecutors of common court judges. The report also contains examples of blatant public statements by representatives of the highest state authorities of the Republic of Poland slandering and denigrating judges in the national and international arena.

 

The study consists of two parts – the first part concerns judges and the second part concerns prosecutors. Th e part concerning judges was divided into four chapters: the first one is dedicated to the presentation of investigations and disciplinary proceedings (so-called hard repression), the second – other types of repression (so-called soft repression), the third – perpetrators of repression and persons whose described behaviour, in the opinion of the authors of the report, should be carefully assessed whether they do not constitute a misappropriation of professional ethics by participating in the process of abolishing the independence of the judiciary, and the fourth part – public statements by representatives of political authorities defaming judges.

 

The second part is devoted to the repressions of independent prosecutors. The report is not an exhaustive study, it contains only the most blatant examples of repression and pressure on independent judges and prosecutors. Some cases of repression have not been included, either due to a lack of sufficient data or because the harassment of repressed judges and prosecutors has not been disclosed.

 

In the future, we will expand and complete the report with further cases. In our opinion, however, it gives some idea of the scale of the harassment that affects judges for one reason only, namely that they demand that the other authorities respect the Polish Constitution.

 

Those who own the courts have absolute power. As judges, we stand guard over the civil rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. We pay a high price for this already, but we are ready to pay even the highest. We do not and will not agree to politicize the courts. We will not allow citizens to be deprived of their right to a fair trial before an impartial and independent court.

 

But what happens when we’re gone?

 

The Polish Judges

 

Read the full report



Author


Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland


More

Published

February 29, 2020

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary ChamberConstitutional Tribunaldisciplinary proceedingsPolandrule of lawZbigniew ZiobroEuropean CommissionCourt of Justice of the EUjudgesjudicial independenceNational Council of the JudiciaryEuropean UnionCourt of JusticeAndrzej DudaMałgorzata ManowskaIgor Tuleyadisciplinary systemEuropean Court of Human RightsMateusz MorawieckiCommissioner for Human RightsCJEUMinister of JusticeJarosław KaczyńskiWaldemar Żurekdemocracymuzzle lawpresidential electionsjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsK 3/21Hungaryelections 2020Kamil Zaradkiewiczdisciplinary commissionerBeata MorawiecPiotr SchabPrzemysław RadzikFirst President of the Supreme CourtprosecutorsEuropean Arrest WarrantMaciej NawackiPrime MinisterJulia Przyłębskamedia freedomProsecutor GeneralConstitutionCOVID-19National Council for JudiciaryMichał LasotaPresidentfreedom of expressionŁukasz PiebiakCourt of Justice of the European Unioncriminal lawdisciplinary liability for judgesWojciech HermelińskiMarek SafjanAleksander StepkowskiNational Recovery PlanOSCEPaweł JuszczyszynAnna DalkowskaNational Public Prosecutorcriminal proceedingsfreedom of assemblyStanisław BiernatExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs ChamberSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetWłodzimierz WróbelCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJMinistry of JusticeNational ProsecutorDagmara Pawełczyk-WoickaelectionsStanisław PiotrowiczJarosław WyrembakAndrzej ZollMałgorzata Gersdorfacting first president of the Supreme CourtOrdo IurisK 7/21May 10 2020 electionsLex DudaNational Reconstruction PlanPresident of PolandPresident of the Republic of PolandSejmXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandBroda and Bojara v Polandmedia independenceIustitiaJarosław DudziczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczArticle 6 ECHRTHEMISEAWUrsula von der LeyenmediaimmunityCouncil of Europe2017policeJustice Defence Committee – KOSFreedom HouseLech GarlickiEwa ŁętowskaSupreme Court PresidentArticle 7Venice CommissionPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaRecovery FundP 7/20Justice Fundneo-judgesPiSC-791/19National Electoral CommissionAstradsson v IcelandK 6/21Piotr PszczółkowskiPegasusGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court Judgeslex NGOcivil societyRussiaProfessional Liability ChamberJoanna Hetnarowicz-SikorasuspensionJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesReczkowicz and Others v. PolandUkraineKrystian MarkiewiczKonrad WytrykowskiJakub IwaniecZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczDariusz DrajewiczRafał PuchalskidefamationcourtsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsMarzanna Piekarska-DrążekEwa WrzosekEU law primacyTVPLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskijudcial independenceMaciej Miterademocratic backslidingViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetoJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJrecommendationTeresa 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 RzeplińskiJerzy StępieńPiotr TulejaSławomira Wronkowska-JaśkiewiczMirosław WyrzykowskireportBohdan ZdziennickiMarek ZubikDidier ReyndersEuropean ParliamentOKO.pressZiobroMichał LaskowskiMarek PietruszyńskitransferPiotr GąciarekKrystyna PawłowiczMariusz MuszyńskiRegional Court in KrakówPiebiak gatehuman rightscorruptionEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiAdam SynakiewiczBelarusstate of emergencycoronavirusXero Flor v. PolandEU treatiesAgnieszka Niklas-BibikSłupsk Regional CourtMaciej Rutkiewiczresolution of 23 January 2020Mirosław WróblewskiCivil ChamberJoanna Misztal-KoneckaLeon Kieresright to protestSławomir JęksaPKWWiktor JoachimkowskiRoman GiertychMariusz Kamińskiinfringment actionsurveillanceEU valuesMichał WośMinistry of FinanceCentral Anti-Corruption BureauENCJJacek SasinErnest BejdaThe First President of the Supreme CourtMaciej CzajkaMariusz JałoszewskiIsraelŁukasz Radkeforeign agents lawpolexitDolińska-Ficek and Ozimek v PolandOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtPaulina Kieszkowska-KnapikMaria Ejchart-DuboisAgreement for the Rule of LawPorozumienie dla PraworządnościLGBT free zonesAct sanitising the judiciaryequalityMarek AstMaciej FerekChamber of Extraordinary VerificationEdyta Barańskahate crimesCourt of Appeal in Krakówhate speechPutinismcriminal codeKaczyńskiGrzęda v Polandright to fair trialPaulina AslanowiczJarosław MatrasŻurek v PolandMałgorzata Wąsek-WiaderekSobczyńska and Others v Polandct on the Protection of the PopulatioparliamentlegislationRafał Trzaskowskilex Wośmedia lawRome StatuteInternational Criminal CourtPrzemysła RadzikAntykastaSenateStanisław ZdunIrena BochniakKrystyna Morawa-FryźlewiczMarcin WarchołKatarzyna ChmuraElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiGrzegorz FurmankiewiczJacek CzaputowiczMarek JaskulskiPrzemysław CzarnekJoanna Kołodziej-Michałowiczlegislative practiceEwa ŁąpińskaZbigniew ŁupinaENAPaweł StyrnaZbigniew BoniekKasta/AntykastaAndrzej SkowronŁukasz BilińskiIvan MischenkoOmbudsmanMonika FrąckowiakArkadiusz CichockiKraśnikEmilia SzmydtNorwayTomasz SzmydtNorwegian fundssmear campaignNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsE-mail scandalDworczyk leaksMichał DworczykC-487/19media pluralism#RecoveryFilesArticle 10 ECHRmilestonesConstitutional Tribunal PresidentRegional Court in Amsterdamrepairing the rule of lawharassmentOpenbaar MinisterieAK judgmentBohdan BieniekSimpson judgmentMarcin KrajewskiChamber of Professional LiabilityForum Współpracy SędziówMałgorzata Dobiecka-Woźniakpublic broadcastermutual trustLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamthe Regional Court in WarsawUnited NationsLeszek Mazurpopulisminterim 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 StatePechOlsztyn courtKochenovPrzemysła CzarnekEvgeni TanchevEducation MinisterFreedom in the WorldECJIpsosFrackowiakOlimpia Barańska-Małuszeretirement ageAmnesty InternationalHudocKonrad SzymańskiPiotr Bogdanowicztrans-Atlantic valuesPiotr BurasLSOauthoritarian equilibriumlawyersArticle 258Act of 20 December 2019clientelismoligarchic systemEuropean Public Prosecutor's Officerepressive actPolish National FoundationLux VeritatisKoen LenaertsMałgorzata BednarekPiotr WawrzykharrassmentMarian BanaśAlina CzubieniakSupreme Audit OfficeTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediapostal voteKrakówRzeszówborderpostal vote billprimacy