Statement of Supreme Court judges of 17 March 2021
We obtained a statement of 65 active and former Supreme Court judges regarding requests to lift judicial immunity and the Disciplinary Chamber
We, the undersigned Supreme Court judges, oppose the practice of the Prosecutor’s Office of requesting for authorisation for criminal prosecution of judges based on allegations related to decision-making process and execution of judgments by the court’s staff. The alleged crimes committed by judges are not supported by compelling evidence. Moreover, the requests for waiver of judicial immunity are directed against judges who publicly express negative opinions about the state of the rule of law in Poland.
We oppose hearing the mentioned requests by the Disciplinary Chamber – a body whose independence and impartiality have been effectively compromised in the case-law of the Court of Justice, the Supreme Court, and ordinary courts. The Disciplinary Chamber ought to refrain from processing all cases pending before it until delivery of the final judgment of the Court of Justice.
The practice of requesting for waiver of judicial immunity shows how law can be exploited to discredit judges who express their criticism over changes in the justice system. At the same time, it is an attempt to create a ‘chilling effect’ on other judges by discouraging them from issuing rulings that can be perceived by the authorities as unpleasant, and from defending the rule of law.
We would like to draw the attention of the domestic and international public to the sustained dismantlement of democracy and the rule of law in the Republic of Poland.
The following Supreme Court judges signed this statement until it was made public
Dariusz Zawistowski – President
Michał Laskowski – President
Labour and Social Security Chamber
Józef Iwulski – President