Stępkowski: The case of the Judge Tuleya’s immunity is not covered by the CJEU’s decision
Proceedings on Judge Igor Tuleya’s immunity are not covered by the freezing order of the EU Court of Justice – Supreme Court press officer Judge Aleksander Stępkowski told journalists on the 27th of May
by Marcin Jabłoński
The article was published in Polish in Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.
Read more about the proceedings against judge Igor Tuleya here.
As the Supreme Court announced on Tuesday (the 26th of May), the date for examining the motion of the prosecution office to remove the immunity of Judge Tuleya from the Warsaw Regional Court was set for 9 June in the Disciplinary Chamber of the Regional Court. The prosecution office’s motion will be considered in camera by a single-judge bench.
In turn, on April 8 this year, the EU Court of Justice decided to obligate Poland to immediately suspend the application of the provisions regarding the Disciplinary Chamber in disciplinary cases of judges. The motion for a temporary suspension pending the final judgment has been submitted by the European Commission. The Polish government argued that the motion is unreasonable.
“The CJEU spoke out on disciplinary matters of judges. The immunity case is not a disciplinary matter, it is a criminal matter”, said Judge Stępkowski on Wednesday, when asked if the session on Judge Tuleya should be held. As he emphasized, “therefore, these are proceedings that are not covered by the freezing order of the CJEU”.
He added that the order of Judge Kamil Zaradkiewicz, who was acting first president of the Supreme Court at that time, since the beginning of May, regarding matters being received by the Disciplinary Chamber “precisely expressed the sentence of the freezing order of the CJEU”.
The Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court was originally supposed to consider the motion in Judge Tuleya’s immunity case on 20 March. However, due to the coronavirus threat, Supreme Court sessions – including in the case of this motion – were cancelled in the middle of March.
At the beginning of May, Judge Zaradkiewicz, who was acting first president of the Supreme Court, overruled the decision of the previous first president of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Gersdorf, regarding the transfer of cases previously considered by the Disciplinary Chamber to other chambers of that court. He simultaneously decided that the disciplinary cases of judges being received would remain suspended until the Constitutional Tribunal’s judgment is issued or the CJEU‘s decision loses its effect.
The reason for the prosecution office’s motion with respect to Judge Tulea is the suspicion of the disclosure of information from the preparatory proceedings, as well as data and testimonies of a witness that jeopardized the course of the investigation. This applies to the proceedings regarding the session of the Sejm in the Column Room of 16 December 2016, which were discontinued twice by the prosecution office.
While referring to the prosecution office’s motion in February in an interview with PAP, Judge Tuleya said he did not feel as if he was at fault. However, he pointed out that he had no intention of appearing before the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. “According to the resolution of the three chambers of the Supreme Court, the Disciplinary Chamber is not a court,” he emphasized. (PAP)
Translated by Roman Wojtasz