The authority cuts off a hand

Share

Leading journalist and commentator on legal affairs in Poland, a columnist for Polityka weekly. Her latest book ‘Sędziowie mówią. Zamach…

More

A member of the government removes a judge from adjudicating during a court session, forcing the stoppage of adjudication. Such situations did not even arise under martial law.



Minister Ziobro removed Judge Joanna Hetnarowicz-Sikora of the District Court in Słupsk from her duties pending consideration of her case by the Disciplinary Chamber. The order was served on her in the courtroom, during a session. What could be more damning evidence of the systemic lack of guarantees of independence than a member of the government removing a judge from office while the judge was adjudicating?

 

The justification is Article 130 of the Act on the Structure of Ordinary Courts which stipulates that immediate stoppage of a judge’s official activity should be ordered if he or she is apprehended while committing an intentional crime or if this is necessary because of the nature of the act, the gravity of the court or the important interests of the service.

 

Judge Hetnarowicz-Sikora was removed from the courtroom, interrupting her session. This would have been possible in order to protect the gravity of the court and the interests of the service if, for instance, she was adjudicating in a drunken state or under the influence of drugs. Or if she had gone insane. Or if it was known that she had explosives with her and intended to blow up the courtroom.

 

So what did she do? Two and a half months earlier, she removed a judge nominated with involvement of the neo-NCJ from adjudicating because of doubts about the legality of that judge’s appointment.

 

PiS follows the Stalinist principle that a hand raised against the authority must be cut off. The unconditional observance of this principle is supposed to stifle resistance. Such stories – of a judge being removed while adjudicating in a courtroom – may indeed have taken place in Stalinist times. No such cases were heard of after 1956. Of course, judges were removed from office under martial law, but not while adjudicating.

 

The authorities are taking the dispute with the EU to the next level. Zbigniew Ziobro says we may have to give up applying for EU money, and removes the judge during a session on the next day. What next? Arresting the judge in the courtroom?

 

Calling such events a ‘chilling effect’ is a euphemism.

 

History has come full circle.



Author


Leading journalist and commentator on legal affairs in Poland, a columnist for Polityka weekly. Her latest book ‘Sędziowie mówią. Zamach…


More

Published

February 11, 2022

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary ChamberConstitutional Tribunaldisciplinary proceedingsPolandrule of lawZbigniew Ziobrojudicial independenceCourt of Justice of the EUEuropean CommissionNational Council of the JudiciaryjudgesEuropean UnionCourt of JusticeAndrzej DudaMałgorzata ManowskaIgor Tuleyadisciplinary systemEuropean Court of Human RightsCommissioner for Human RightsCJEUMinister of JusticeMateusz MorawieckiJarosław KaczyńskiWaldemar Żurekmuzzle lawpresidential electionsjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsdemocracyK 3/21Hungaryelections 2020Kamil ZaradkiewiczBeata MorawiecFirst President of the Supreme Courtprosecutorsdisciplinary commissionerEuropean Arrest WarrantProsecutor GeneralConstitutionCOVID-19Maciej NawackiPrzemysław RadzikJulia PrzyłębskaPresidentmedia freedomfreedom of expressionCourt of Justice of the European Unioncriminal lawMarek SafjanAleksander StepkowskiOSCEPaweł JuszczyszynNational Public ProsecutorPiotr Schabcriminal proceedingsPrime Ministerfreedom of assemblyStanisław BiernatExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs ChamberSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetWłodzimierz WróbelCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJMinistry of JusticeNational Prosecutordisciplinary liability for judgeselectionsWojciech HermelińskiStanisław PiotrowiczAndrzej ZollMałgorzata Gersdorfacting first president of the Supreme CourtOrdo IurisK 7/21May 10 2020 electionsLex DudaNational Council for JudiciarySejmXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandBroda and Bojara v Polandmedia independenceIustitiaSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczTHEMISEAWmediaimmunityAnna DalkowskaCouncil of Europe2017policeFreedom HouseLech GarlickiEwa ŁętowskaSupreme Court PresidentArticle 7Venice CommissionPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaŁukasz PiebiakP 7/20Justice FundPiSC-791/19National Electoral CommissionAstradsson v IcelandK 6/21Piotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakPegasusGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court Judgeslex NGOcivil societyRussiaNational Reconstruction PlanJoanna Hetnarowicz-SikoraPresident of PolandPresident of the Republic of PolandJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesReczkowicz and Others v. PolandKrystian MarkiewiczMichał LasotaZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczdefamationcourtsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsArticle 6 ECHRUrsula von der LeyenEwa WrzosekEU law primacyTVPLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskijudcial independencedemocratic backslidingViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetoJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJJustice Defence Committee – KOSrecommendationTeresa 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 PietruszyńskiPiotr GąciarekRegional Court in KrakówPiebiak gatehuman rightscorruptionEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiAdam SynakiewiczBelarusstate of emergencyneo-judgescoronavirusXero 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 lawpolexitNational Recovery PlanDolińska-Ficek and Ozimek v PolandOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeProfessional Liability ChamberFirst President of the Suprme CourtsuspensionPaulina 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 WośUkrainemedia lawRome StatuteInternational Criminal CourtKonrad WytrykowskiJarosław DudziczPrzemysła RadzikJakub IwaniecAntykastaSenateMarcin WarchołElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiJacek CzaputowiczPrzemysław Czarneklegislative practiceENAZbigniew BoniekOmbudsmanKraśnikNorwayNorwegian fundsNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsC-487/19Article 10 ECHRRegional Court in AmsterdamOpenbaar MinisterieAK judgmentSimpson judgmentForum Współpracy Sędziówpublic broadcastermutual trustLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamthe Regional Court in WarsawUnited NationsLeszek MazurMaciej Miterapopulisminterim 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 StatetransferPechOlsztyn courtKochenovPrzemysła CzarnekEvgeni TanchevEducation MinisterFreedom in the WorldKrystyna PawłowiczECJIpsosFrackowiakOlimpia Barańska-Małuszeretirement ageMariusz MuszyńskiAmnesty InternationalHudocKonrad SzymańskiPiotr Bogdanowicztrans-Atlantic valuesPiotr BurasLSOauthoritarian equilibriumlawyersArticle 258Act of 20 December 2019clientelismoligarchic systemRecovery FundEuropean Public Prosecutor's Officerepressive actPolish National FoundationLux VeritatisKoen LenaertsMałgorzata BednarekPiotr WawrzykharrassmentMarian BanaśAlina CzubieniakSupreme Audit OfficeTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediapostal voteKrakówRzeszówDagmara Pawełczyk-Woickaborderpostal vote billprimacy