Planned changes in the Supreme Court and common courts in Poland
20–30 judges of almost 100 are to remain in the Supreme Court. The remainder will be retired.
The summary is based on Agata Łukaszewicz’s article “PiS bierze sądy na cel – kolejna odsłona reformy wymiaru sprawiedliwości” published in Rzeczpospolita on 8 September 2020.
The ruling camp in Poland plans further changes in the Supreme Court, as well as the ordinary and administrative courts. In the Supreme Court, instead of 97 judges (out of 125 positions), 20-30 judges will remain. The remainder will retire due to reorganization. The current Supreme Court chambers are to be combined. The Disciplinary Chamber is to be combined with the Criminal Chamber. The Civil Chamber is to be combined with the Labour Chamber.
Today 4,000 of the 10,000 judges perform additional functions, which increases salaries but limits time for judicial work. The excess functions of judges in the ordinary courts are to disappear.
The status of judges is also to be reformed.
‘We are working on changes, through which the judges of the ordinary and administrative court, the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court will have a uniform position in the system, regardless of the instance in which they adjudicate,’ announces Anna Dalkowska, deputy minister of justice.
The ministry of justice wants to reduce the number of cases received by the courts (currently the number is 16 million per year)
‘Some cases which are heard by the ordinary courts are public law cases, which could be transferred to the administrative courts,’ believes Dalkowska.
The structure of the judiciary is to be flattened through the liquidation of the district courts and the courts of appeal and the introduction of the institution of the justice of the peace.