The National Council of the Judiciary gave the member of this group another chance of promotion


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


The National Council of the Judiciary gave the member of this group another chance of promotion. The Olsztyn-based Judge Maciej Nawacki may soon become a regional court judge. Whereas the Council itself will have an increasingly lesser representation of the district courts.

by Wojciech Tumidalski


The text was pubslihed in Polish in Rzeczpospolita on 24 September 2020.


Fortune is smiling again at Judge Nawacki, who publicly tore up a draft resolution submitted to him in February during an assembly of judges – for which he was supposed to receive a disciplinary punishment. The rising wave has returned. He recently became a member of the judicial ethics committee at the NCJ, whereas he has now won again in the contest organised by this council for a position in Olsztyn’s regional court. And it appears that the legal world is treating this ostentation as of an everyday occurrence.


Judge Nawacki’s opponents are now to have disciplinary proceedings, having expressed their critical views about the constitutionality and legality of the Council during their interviews at the NCJ. Its member, Arkadiusz Mularczyk, MP, demanded that the presidium of the NCJ ask the judicial disciplinary commissioner to take a closer look at these statements. This is how the law referred to as the Muzzle Act works.


This is not Judge Nawacki’s first attempt at promotion. The result of the contest was cancelled last time by the new Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber of the Supreme Court, specifying that the assessment of his judicial service by the other members of the NCJ did not satisfy the statutory requirements – which may be considered to mean a lack of impartiality and independence. Judicial promotions also include pay rises – it never looks good when colleagues award them to their colleagues.


Interestingly, the opinion issued by the NCJ does not mention a breach of the principles of independence and impartiality by Maciej Nawacki’s membership (since 2017) of the Lech Kaczyński Academic Civic Club in Olsztyn. Meanwhile, it could be construed that a few more years were needed for the candidate to eliminate the shortcomings in his judgments in business cases – and then there is a chance “of making thought-out and prudent decisions”.


However, Judge Nawacki’s path to promotion could be faster if neither of his rivals were to appeal to the Supreme Court – because there are two posts to be filled in Olsztyn. And everything will be in the hands of President Andrzej Duda. He can hand out the promotions – as to the members of the NCJ, Grzegorz Furmankiewicz and Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka. We also know that he can delay this – as with the decisions regarding Dariusz Drajewicz and Rafał Puchalski, who want to be judges of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the NCJ will represent district court judges to an increasingly lesser extent – which was the justification for the changes – and will increasingly represent the offices of the Ministry of Justice.


In the meantime, although some may find it tempting, the president will no doubt not tear up the nomination.


Translated by Roman Wojtasz


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



September 29, 2020


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