Why do politicians need to take over the Supreme Court? Judge Wróbel explains


professor of the Jagiellonian University, Head of the Department of Criminal Law of the Jagiellonian University, Head of the Chair…


"It is not necessary to change the laws in order for politicians to gain full control over the Supreme Court.  It is sufficient that some of the judges who have been duly appointed be removed from adjudication by the Disciplinary Chamber at the request of the prosecution, which is subordinate to the politicians."

Prof. Włodzimierz Wróbel, Supreme Court judge in the Criminal Chamber posted his sharp and short analysis regarding an ongoing assault on the independence of the Supreme Court.


Judge Wróbel is a legal authority in Poland, a professor of Jagielloński University in Kraków. Crucially, he was a judge-rapporteur of the landmark resolution of the three Supreme Court chambers of 23.01.2020, following the Court of Justice of the EU A.K. ruling.

He was contra-candidate of Mrs. Manowska to the post of First President of SC. Judge Wróbel received some 50 votes of support, Mrs. Manowska only half of that. However, the President of the Republic Andrzej Duda, who had the discretion to do so, appointed Mrs. Manowska to be the First President of the Supreme Court. Recently the National Prosecutor applied to the Disciplinary Chamber in the Supreme Court to waive judge Wróbel’s and two other judges of the Criminal Chamber’s immunity.


“Why do politicians need to take over the Supreme Court?

1. The First President of the Supreme Court directs the Tribunal of State, which tries and punishes politicians for violating the Constitution.


2. The Supreme Court ultimately decides whether elections are valid or should be repeated.


3. The Supreme Court decides whether to take money away from political parties for their activities.


4. The Supreme Court can overturn the ruling of any court in the country in a criminal, civil, or business case if the ruling is not to the liking of the government: whether it concerns citizens or politicians.


5. The Supreme Court can decide how laws should be interpreted and then overturn the decisions of courts that don’t want to follow it.  So instead of debating laws in parliament, politicians can use the Supreme Court to change the content of the law at will.


6. The Supreme Court can remove any judge or prosecutor from the profession or extend a protective umbrella over any lawyer, shielding them from professional liability.


7. The Supreme Court may withdraw preliminary questions submitted to the Court of Justice of the European Union and thereby block the Court’s rulings on the independence of the judiciary in Poland.


8. It should be remembered that Supreme Court decisions are final and are not subject to review by other courts.


It is not necessary to change the laws in order for politicians to gain full control over the Supreme Court.  It is sufficient that some of the judges who have been duly appointed be removed from adjudication by the Disciplinary Chamber at the request of the prosecution, which is subordinate to the politicians.


As a result, politically friendly or silent lawyers will be able to fill the positions of presidents of chambers or chairpersons of departments and will be free to decide who and how to hear cases important to the government.


A trap is being laid for these lawyers: those appointed to the Supreme Court in flawed, politicized procedures become hostages of a particular parliamentary majority, as the stability of their appointments depends solely on the maintenance of power by that particular majority. In other words, if the power changes, they too may lose their positions.


Such a scenario of taking over the Supreme Court means the ultimate exclusion of politicians from any control and responsibility.


The Supreme Court in this scenario becomes at the same time a dangerous institution for citizens, because it can be used to eliminate real protection of their rights in court, allowing political power to make the final decisions in individual cases. Will such a scenario be realized?

In an authoritarian state, there was never a need to replace and subordinate all judges. It was enough to take de facto political control over the Supreme Court and persons performing administrative functions in the courts. Then the mechanism worked on its own.”


professor of the Jagiellonian University, Head of the Department of Criminal Law of the Jagiellonian University, Head of the Chair…



March 30, 2021


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