The Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court will deal with the case of Judge Józef Iwulski’s immunity on 21 January


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


‘The Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court has set the date for examining the case of immunity of a judge of that court, the President of the Labour and Social Insurance Chamber, Józef Iwulski, on 21 January next year,’ Piotr Falkowski, that Chamber’s press officer, informed the Polish Press Agency PAP.

by Sonia Otfinowska


The article was posted in Polish on PAP website.


The Divisional Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Kraków requested the Supreme Court’s consent to hold Judge Iwulski liable on criminal charges.


The prosecutors intend to charge Iwulski with the illegal conviction of a 21-year-old worker for distributing leaflets attacking the communist authorities.


‘This is the third Supreme Court judge whose immunity case is in the Disciplinary Chamber, albeit the first judge who is still active,’ Falkowski emphasised earlier in an interview with PAP.


The remaining cases apply to retired judges Stanislaw K. and Jan R., whose immunity has been lifted in non-final decisions for the time being. Both cases apply, among other things, to judgments against oppositionists under martial law.


According to the findings of the investigators of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), in 1982, Iwulski was a member of the Warsaw Region Military Court, which sentenced a worker from Oświęcim, Leszek W., to three years’ imprisonment for distributing ‘anti-state’ leaflets presenting the contours of Poland surrounded by barbed wire.


‘He found Leszek W. guilty of publicly deriding the People’s Republic of Poland and, by distributing leaflets, he was inciting riots and strikes. The court convicted him, even though, even under the provisions of the Penal Code and the Martial Law Decree that were applicable at that time, the suspect’s actions did not constitute a crime,’ emphasised the Chief Commission, adding that this conclusion was also confirmed by the Supreme Court.


In May 1992, after considering an extraordinary review, the Supreme Court acquitted the oppositionist. According to the Supreme Court, the content of the leaflets being distributed by the accused was an expression of his legitimate views and it is impossible to see how it mocks the state, while inciting a strike did not satisfy the signs of a crime, because participation in a strike was purely a misdemeanour under the law of that time.


In turn, according to the prosecutors of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the evidence gathered shows that ‘the unlawful sentencing of Leszek W. to a severe punishment only had a deterrent objective and was part of the repressive policy of the authorities of the Polish People’s Republic with respect to the democratic opposition activists’. ‘The sentence was therefore an act of national lawlessness, while the judges who issued it cannot enjoy the protection afforded for a judge’s action under his statutory rights and duties’ summarised the Central Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation.


The investigation conducted by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) into the illegal imprisonment of democratic opposition activists by the Warsaw Region Military Court was extended to other former judges of that court.


Translated by Roman Wojtasz


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



December 17, 2020


Supreme Courtdisciplinary proceedingsrule of lawjudicial independenceDisciplinary ChamberPolandEuropean CommissionjudgesNational Council of the JudiciaryZbigniew ZiobroCourt of JusticeCourt of Justice of the EUConstitutional TribunalAndrzej DudaEuropean Uniondisciplinary systemIgor TuleyaMinister of Justicepresidential electionsjudiciarydemocracyJarosław Kaczyńskielections 2020Beata MorawiecFirst President of the Supreme Courtpreliminary rulingsprosecutorsCJEUmuzzle lawCommissioner for Human RightsEuropean Arrest WarrantCOVID-19disciplinary commissionerAdam BodnarOSCEEuropean Court of Human RightsMateusz MorawieckiPresidentProsecutor Generalfreedom of expressionLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJHungaryNational Prosecutorelectionsacting first president of the Supreme CourtMay 10 2020 electionsWaldemar Żurekmedia independenceAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczEAW2017freedom of assemblyFreedom HouseExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs ChamberVenice CommissionEU budgetConstitutioncriminal lawC-791/19disciplinary liability for judgesNational Electoral CommissionMarek SafjanKamil ZaradkiewiczGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court JudgesAleksander StepkowskiOrdo IurisPresident of PolandMałgorzata ManowskaJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesSejmMichał LasotaZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramTHEMISMaciej NawackiLex Super OmniaPaweł JuszczyszynAnna DalkowskaBelgiumNetherlandsNational Public ProsecutorPiotr Schabdemocratic backslidingdecommunizationNext Generation EUPrime MinistervetopoliceJulia PrzyłębskaLaw on the NCJrecommendationHuman Rights CommissionerCCBEThe Council of Bars and Law Societies of EuropereportArticle 7European ParliamentZiobroSupreme Administrative CourtconditionalityPM Mateusz MorawieckiEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawMinistry of JusticecoronavirusPiSWojciech Hermelińskiresolution of 23 January 2020Stanisław PiotrowiczPiotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakLeon KieresAndrzej ZollPKWMałgorzata Gersdorfinfringment actionEU valuesENCJlex NGOcivil societyRussiaIsraelforeign agents lawOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtPresident of the Republic of PolandLGBT free zonesequalityChamber of Extraordinary Verificationhate crimeshate speechcriminal codeGrzęda v PolandXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandBroda and Bojara v PolandŻurek v PolandSobczyńska and Others v PolandReczkowicz and Others v. PolandRafał Trzaskowskimedia lawIustitiaKrystian MarkiewiczPrzemysła RadzikSenateMarcin WarchołElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiJacek CzaputowiczPrzemysław Czarneklegislative practiceENAZbigniew BoniekdefamationcourtsOmbudsmanKraśnikNorwayNorwegian fundsNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsC-487/19Article 6 ECHRArticle 10 ECHRRegional Court in AmsterdamOpenbaar MinisterieUrsula von der LeyenEwa WrzosekAK judgmentSimpson judgmentEU law primacyForum Współpracy SędziówTVPmediapublic broadcasterAdam Tomczyńskiimmunitymutual trustLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamBogdan ŚwięczkowskiPrzemysław Radzikthe Regional Court in WarsawCouncil of EuropeUnited Nationsjudcial independenceLeszek MazurMaciej Miteracriminal proceedingspopulisminterim measuresViktor OrbanOLAFautocratizationMultiannual Financial Frameworkabortion rulingequal treatmentabortionprotestsfundamental rightsthe NetherlandsDenmarkSwedenFinlandMariusz KrasońCT PresidentJózef IwulskiGermanyCelmerC354/20 PPUJustice Defence Committee – KOSC412/20 PPUAusl 301 AR 104/19Karlsruheact on misdemeanoursCivil Service ActEUWhite Paperlustrationtransitional justicepublic opinion pollSupreme Court President2018Nations in TransitCouncil of the EUStanisław ZabłockiLIBE CommitteeFrans TimmermansUS Department of StateSwieczkowskiadvocate generalpress releaseRights and Values ProgrammeC-619/18defamatory statementsWorld Justice Project awardintimidation of dissentersWojciech SadurskijudgetransferPechKochenovEvgeni TanchevFreedom in the WorldECJFrackowiakretirement ageAmnesty InternationalŁukasz PiebiakPiebiak gatehuman rightstrans-Atlantic valuesLSOlawyersAct of 20 December 2019repressive actKoen LenaertsharrassmentAlina CzubieniakJustice FundGerard BirgfellerEwa Maciejewskapostal votepostal vote bill