This is madness. Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioner wants to prosecute 1,278 judges in Poland at once!


Journalist covering law and politics for Previously journalist at Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Polska The Times, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.


Przemysław Radzik’s letter to the local disciplinary commissioners at the district and appellate courts shows that Ziobro’s people are heading for a total attack on defiant judges. This is because such record-breaking disciplinary action is absurd and will be extensively commented on in the EU.

Deputy Disciplinary Commissioner Przemysław Radzik wants to prosecute 1,278  judges in Poland for signing a letter to the OSCE. In the letter, judges demanded OSCE to monitor the presidential elections planned for 10 May 2020.


Radzik targets the defiant judges by engaging all the local disciplinary commissioners. This will be a record-breaking wholesale disciplinary action for the judges defending judicial independence.


Over the past two years, the chief disciplinary commissioner, Piotr Schab, and his two deputies, Przemysław Radzik and Michał Lasota – all nominated by the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro – have been “winding up” all the time. They prosecuted individual judges for defending independent courts in Poland.


But since President Andrzej Duda won the elections in July, they have been going all out. They have already initiated wholesale proceedings against groups of a dozen or so judges, but the latest actions are being taken on an unprecedented scale.


Radzik, the “defender” of the Constitution

The judges asked the OSCE to monitor the presidential elections by postal vote planned for 10 May, which were later cancelled by the Law and Justice (PiS) party. The judges criticised the changes to the electoral law. They were also concerned as to whether such elections would be fair.


In addition, judges wrote that the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court, which was established by PiS and which rules on the legality of the elections, was filled with judges selected in a defective procedure (the judges were chosen by the new National Council of Judiciary, appointed by politicians), which resulted in a lack of independence of this chamber.


Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioner took an interest in this letter in early August. This is the date of his letter sent to the local disciplinary commissioners. Radzik asked them whether they had already initiated any explanatory proceedings “with regard to each of the judges/signatories of this letter [to the OSCE – ed.] committing any disciplinary offences”.


This is because Radzik believes that the judges who signed the letter breached Article 179, para. 3 of the Constitution, which provides that “a judge shall not belong to a political party, a trade union or perform public activities which are incompatible with the principles of independence of the courts and the impartiality of judges.”


He alleges that the signatories of the letter were conducting precisely such activities which are prohibited for judges by the Constitution. Another of Radzik’s accusations applies to questioning the legality of judges adjudicating in the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court.


In his letter, the deputy disciplinary commissioner demands that the local disciplinary commissioners, who have already initiated investigations against the signatories of the letter to the OSCE, send him a copy of the order regarding their initiation.


However, if they have not yet initiated such proceedings, they are to explain themselves with a “justification for such a position.” Radzik gave them until 1 September to respond. Iustitia the largest association of independent judges in Poland posted his letter on Twitter.


Pressure on the local disciplinary commissioners

Przemysław Radzik’s letter to the local disciplinary commissioners at the district and appellate courts shows that Ziobro’s people are heading for a total attack on defiant judges.


This is because such record-breaking disciplinary action is absurd and will be extensively commented on in the EU.


It arises from Radzik’s letter that he has already decided that the 1,278 judges who signed the letter are liable on disciplinary charges. But he cannot investigate them all himself and he almost certainly does not want to do so.


The letter was also signed by a group of judges of the Supreme Administrative Court and the voivodship administrative courts. They have a separate disciplinary commissioner. Consequently, Radzik can prosecute all the ordinary court judges, which he is allowed to do by the Muzzle Act passed by PiS in 2019.


But prosecuting so many signatories of the letter to the OSCE is a lot of work. Therefore, Radzik is pressuring local disciplinary commissioners to initiate proceedings for this letter against district and regional judges, including retired judges.


He, himself, can initiate proceedings against appellate judges who also signed the letter to the OSCE and there are fewer of them.


Ziobro’s disciplinary commissioner took steps to avoid his letter being disregarded. He wants the local commissioners to send copies of orders instituting proceedings against judges. What for? This may be a suggestion that the failure to do so can result in disciplinary action or the failure to be appointed for another term of office.


The suggestion is not unreasonable. In the Muzzle Act, PiS assigned the appointment of local disciplinary commissioners to the chief disciplinary commissioner, Piotr Schab (Radzik is his deputy).


The threat of disciplinary action is also real, because Ziobro’s commissioners are already investigating the deputy disciplinary commissioner at the Court of Appeal in Poznań, Mariola Głowacka, who refused to raise disciplinary charges against the judge who acquitted the wife of the mayor of Poznań.


“In his letter, Radzik is interfering with the work of the disciplinary commissioners at the courts. He is leading them to believe that they can also be overzealous. If they follow in his footsteps, they will lose face,” Iustitia’s press officer Bartłomiej Przymusiński tells And he adds: “If it continues like this, soon 95 percent of judges in Poland will face disciplinary charges for being decent.”


The commissioner from Piotrków Trybunalski was the first to prosecute for the letter to the OSCE

As established, the first effect of Radzik’s letter has already appeared. Judge Maciej Romotowski, deputy disciplinary commissioner at the Regional Court in Suwałki, demanded explanations from three Suwałki judges who signed the letter to the OSCE. This applies to Judges Dominik Czeszkiewicz (member of the management board of the Themis association of judges who is active in the defence of the free courts), Adam Kowalczyk and Beata Sznejder.


The commissioner in Suwałki is asking them to take a position on whether signing the letter was the taking up of public activity, which is inconsistent with the principles of independence and impartiality of judges.


However, the idea of prosecuting judges/signatories of the letter to the OSCE arose several weeks earlier.


The deputy disciplinary commissioner at the Regional Court in Piotrków Trybunalski, Anna Gąsior-Majchrowska, was the first to think this up. She initiated explanatory proceedings with respect to 15 district court judges from the region of the Piotrków regional court in the middle of May 2020, including the deputy head of Iustitia, Tomasz Marczyński (he is a judge from the court in Bełchatów).


Judge Anna Gąsior-Majchrowska’s promotions started during the time of the current authorities. Years ago, she was an assistant to Judge Stanisław Tomasik, who is currently the president of the Regional Court in Piotrków Trybunalski (nominated by Minister Ziobro).


During the time of the “good change”, she was promoted to the regional court and became a deputy disciplinary commissioner. Her actions resounded among judges throughout the country, who began to report themselves to Gąsior-Majchrowska in a gesture of solidarity with the judges from Piotrków. Over 400 judges signed them. In the letters, the judges called the commissioner to reflect on her actions.


For example, judges from Kraków wrote to her that they had signed the letter to the OSCE “out of concern for ensuring that Poland has democratic, universal, equal and secret elections – without any connection to their political aspect, in order to ensure that every voter has the right to cast his vote in accordance with the idea of free elections for their selected candidate”.


They reminded her that “Before taking up the office of judge, each of us judges, including you, swore to uphold the law. We are leaving it up to you to assess whether a judge who publicly points out the threats described above to free and democratic elections for the most important office in our country remains faithful to the oath and whether such conduct can constitute a disciplinary offence.”


It cannot be ruled out that Disciplinary Commissioner Przemysław Radzik’s current activities are a response to this campaign of solidarity. Perhaps this is how Radzik is standing up “in defence” of the Piotrków commissioner, whom he mentioned in his letter to the local disciplinary commissioners. Radzik mentioned her as the only one who had initiated an investigation regarding the letter to the OSCE.


A long list of defiant judges being prosecuted

The mass prosecutions of judges for signing the letter to the OSCE constitute evidence of the strong-handed treatment of defiant judges.


After Andrzej Duda won the elections, the same Przemysław Radzik quickly initiated two wholesale disciplinary actions striking at the judges who are active in the defence of the free courts.


One strikes at the whole of the 10-person management of the Iustitia association. Radzik wants to prosecute them for publishing the post-election position of the association’s management board, which questioned the legality of the judges from the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs of the Supreme Court, which ruled on the validity of Andrzej Duda’s election to the office of president.


Radzik is also investigating the 14-person management of the Judges’ Cooperation Forum, which is an informal judicial association that helps repressed judges. The disciplinary commissioner does not like the fact that they did not disclose their membership of this Forum in the declarations of membership of social organisations, which they are required to submit from this year.


Przemysław Radzik and Ziobro’s other commissioners, namely Piotr Schab and Michał Lasota, are known for prosecuting independent judges for any reason whatsoever. We published a list of over 80 defiant judges prosecuted by them in


Translated by Roman Wojtasz. The text was published in Polish at


Journalist covering law and politics for Previously journalist at Gazeta Wyborcza, Rzeczpospolita, Polska The Times, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna.



August 20, 2020


Supreme CourtDisciplinary ChamberConstitutional Tribunaldisciplinary proceedingsPolandZbigniew ZiobrojudgesCourt of Justice of the EUrule of lawEuropean CommissionNational Council of the Judiciaryjudicial independenceMałgorzata ManowskaEuropean UnionAndrzej DudaCourt of JusticeIgor TuleyaEuropean Court of Human Rightsdisciplinary systemMateusz MorawieckiCommissioner for Human RightsCJEUMinister of JusticeJarosław KaczyńskiWaldemar Żurekmuzzle lawKamil ZaradkiewiczNational Recovery Plandemocracypresidential electionsdisciplinary commissionerPiotr SchabPrzemysław RadzikjudiciaryFirst President of the Supreme CourtAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsSupreme Administrative CourtK 3/21Hungaryelections 2020neo-judgeselectionsBeata MorawiecJulia PrzyłębskaprosecutorsŁukasz PiebiakNational Council for JudiciaryMichał LasotaEuropean Arrest WarrantMaciej NawackiPrime MinisterPresidentmedia freedomProsecutor GeneralConstitutionCourt of Justice of the European Unioncriminal lawCOVID-19Dagmara Pawełczyk-WoickaMałgorzata GersdorfSejmharassmentPaweł JuszczyszynEU budgetfreedom of expressiondisciplinary liability for judgesWojciech HermelińskiStanisław PiotrowiczMarek SafjanAleksander StepkowskiOSCEPresident of the Republic of PolandMaciej FerekimmunityAnna DalkowskaNational Public ProsecutorCouncil of Europecriminal proceedingsfreedom of assemblyStanisław BiernatExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamberconditionality mechanismconditionalityWłodzimierz WróbelCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeRegional Court in KrakówprosecutionNCJMinistry of JusticeNational ProsecutorJarosław WyrembakAndrzej Zollacting first president of the Supreme CourtOrdo IurisK 7/21May 10 2020 electionsLex DudaNational Reconstruction PlanProfessional Liability ChamberPresident of PolandLGBTXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandBroda and Bojara v PolandReczkowicz and Others v. Polandparliamentmedia independenceIustitiaJarosław DudziczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczArticle 6 ECHRTHEMISEAWUrsula von der LeyenChamber of Professional LiabilityTVPmediaelections 2023Labour and Social Security Chamber2017policeJustice Defence Committee – KOSFreedom HouseLech GarlickiEwa ŁętowskaSupreme Court PresidentArticle 7Venice CommissionPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaPiotr GąciarekcorruptionRecovery FundP 7/20Justice FundPiSC-791/19National Electoral CommissionAstradsson v IcelandK 6/21Piotr PszczółkowskiJoanna Misztal-KoneckaPegasusMariusz KamińskisurveillanceCentral Anti-Corruption BureauGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court Judgeslex NGOcivil societyRussiaJoanna Hetnarowicz-SikorasuspensionJarosław GowinLGBT ideology free zonesUkraineKrystian MarkiewiczKonrad WytrykowskiJakub IwaniecSenateZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczDariusz DrajewiczRafał PuchalskidefamationcourtsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsConstitutional Tribunal PresidentMarzanna Piekarska-DrążekEwa WrzosekEU law primacyLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskijudcial independenceMaciej Miterademocratic backslidingPiotr PrusinowskiViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetoabortionJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJrecommendationTeresa 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.pressZiobroDariusz ZawistowskiMichał Laskowskiintimidation of dissentersMarek PietruszyńskitransferKrystyna PawłowiczMariusz MuszyńskiPiebiak gatehuman rightsEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiMarian BanaśSupreme Audit OfficeAdam SynakiewiczBelarusstate of emergencyKrakówcoronavirusXero Flor v. PolandEU treatiesAgnieszka Niklas-BibikSłupsk Regional CourtMaciej Rutkiewiczresolution of 23 January 2020Mirosław WróblewskiCivil ChamberLeon Kieresright to protestSławomir JęksaPKWWiktor JoachimkowskiRoman Giertychinfringment actionEU valuesMichał WośMinistry of FinanceENCJJacek SasinErnest BejdaThe First President of the Supreme CourtMaciej CzajkaMariusz JałoszewskiIsraelŁukasz Radkeforeign agents lawpolexitDolińska-Ficek and Ozimek v PolandOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtPaulina Kieszkowska-KnapikMaria Ejchart-DuboisAgreement for the Rule of LawPorozumienie dla PraworządnościLGBT free zonesAct sanitising the judiciaryequalityMarek AstChamber 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 PopulatiolegislationRafał Trzaskowskilex Wośmedia lawRome StatuteInternational Criminal CourtPrzemysła RadzikAntykastaStanisław ZdunIrena BochniakKrystyna Morawa-FryźlewiczMarcin WarchołKatarzyna ChmuraElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiGrzegorz FurmankiewiczJacek CzaputowiczMarek JaskulskiPrzemysław CzarnekJoanna Kołodziej-Michałowiczlegislative practiceEwa ŁąpińskaZbigniew ŁupinaENAPaweł StyrnaZbigniew BoniekKasta/AntykastaAndrzej SkowronŁukasz BilińskiIvan MischenkoOmbudsmanMonika FrąckowiakArkadiusz CichockiKraśnikEmilia SzmydtNorwayTomasz SzmydtNorwegian fundssmear campaignNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsE-mail scandalDworczyk leaksMichał DworczykC-487/19media pluralism#RecoveryFilesArticle 10 ECHRmilestonesRegional Court in Amsterdamrepairing the rule of lawOpenbaar MinisterieAK judgmentBohdan BieniekSimpson judgmentMarcin KrajewskiForum Współpracy SędziówMałgorzata Dobiecka-Woźniakelectoral processChamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairspublic broadcasterWiesław KozielewiczNational Recovery Plan Monitoring CommitteeGrzegorz PudaPiotr MazurekJerzy Kwaśniewskimutual trustPetros Tovmasyancourt presidentsLMODIHRIrelandFull-Scale Election Observation MissionNGOIrena MajcherWojciech MaczugaAmsterdamKarolina MiklaszewskaRafał LisakMałgorzata FroncJędrzej Dessoulavy-ŚliwińskiSebastian Mazurekthe Regional Court in WarsawElżbieta Jabłońska-MalikSzymon Szynkowski vel SękUnited NationsJoanna Scheuring-Wielgusinsulting religious feelingsLeszek Mazuroppositionelectoral codeAdam Gendźwiłłpopulisminterim measuresDariusz Dończykautocratizationtest of independenceMultiannual Financial FrameworkTomasz Koszewskipublic mediaJakub Kwiecińskiabortion rulingdiscriminationequal treatmentAct on the Supreme Courtprotestselectoral commissionsfundamental rightsthe NetherlandsEuropean Court of HuDenmarkKrzysztof RączkaSwedenPoznańFinlandKoan LenaertsMariusz KrasońKarol WeitzCT PresidentKaspryszyn v PolandGermanyNCR&DCelmerNCBiRC354/20 PPUThe National Centre for Research and DevelopmentC412/20 PPUEuropean Anti-Fraud Office OLAFAusl 301 AR 104/19Justyna WydrzyńskaKarlsruheAgnieszka Brygidyr-Doroszact 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 generaltransparencyEuropean Economic and Social Committeepress releaseSebastian KaletaRights and Values ProgrammeC-156/21C-157/21C-619/18Marek Piertuszyńskidefamatory statementsWorld Justice Project awardNational Prosecutor’s OfficeWojciech SadurskiBogdan ŚwiączkowskiDisicplinary ChamberjudgeTribunal of StatePechOlsztyn courtKochenovPrzemysła CzarnekEvgeni TanchevEducation MinisterFreedom in the WorldECJIpsosFrackowiakOlimpia Barańska-Małuszeretirement ageAmnesty InternationalHudocKonrad SzymańskiPiotr Bogdanowicztrans-Atlantic valuesPiotr BurasLSOauthoritarian equilibriumlawyersArticle 258Act of 20 December 2019clientelismoligarchic systemEuropean Public Prosecutor's Officerepressive actPolish National FoundationLux VeritatisKoen LenaertsMałgorzata BednarekPiotr WawrzykharrassmentAlina CzubieniakTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediapostal voteRzeszówborderpostal vote billprimacy

Other articles by this author

March 13, 2023

Constitutional Tribunal brings PiS relief. It wants to block Mariusz Kamiński’s trial for the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau’s operation in the land scandal

March 1, 2023

Manowska of the Supreme Court is now blocking the execution of the 3rd CJEU ruling. This is how the authority’s nominees are implementing the compromise with the EU

February 7, 2023

Vilification of suspended Judge Maciej Ferek. Illegal neo-NCJ and Ziobro’s former classmate in action

January 17, 2023

Judge Juszczyszyn is being prosecuted again for applying EU law. This is how Ziobro’s people are ‘supporting’ the compromise

January 17, 2023

Illegally suspended Judge Gąciarek may return to adjudication. The new chamber of the Supreme Court will decide

January 17, 2023

President of a legal Chamber of the Supreme Court refuses to adjudicate with neo-judges: ‘I’m not afraid, I’ve chosen my fate’

January 17, 2023

The President promoted Ziobro’s people and judges from the Kasta/Antykasta group. This is what the compromise with the EU looks like

December 16, 2022

PiS is changing the Act on courts for billions for the National Recovery Plan. But it could breach the Constitution and incite chaos

December 8, 2022

Scandalous repression of former Supreme Court President Gersdorf. Ziobro’s man is prosecuting her for a historic Supreme Court resolution

November 29, 2022

Judge Tuleya files a complaint with the ECtHR for his return to the court being blocked by Ziobro’s people