Chaos in courts. Some judges postpone proceedings after Supreme Court ruling

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gf
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TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP
Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 234-211 to disregard the rejection by the Senate of a law which would allow judges who criticise the government's reforms to be disciplined
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Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 234-211 to disregard the rejection by the Senate of a law which would allow judges who criticise the government's reforms to be disciplined

Some pass judgements because "politicking is not their job", others continue court proceedings as they "are awaiting justification of the Supreme Court resolution". Some are also waiting, but postpone proceedings. Yesterday's resolution adopted by the Supreme Court caused chaos in common courts as judges aren't sure whether or not they should carry on with their work, as the passed rulings could be rendered null and void.

- The Supreme Court ruled that if an adjudicating panel of that court includes Justices appointed by the new KRS (National Council of the Judiciary), such panel would be considered incorrectly composed.

- With regard to common and military courts the situation is similar, however, on condition that faults made in appointing of judges "result, under concrete circumstances, to violation of standards of independence and impartiality".

- The resolution does not apply to rulings passed by the courts before its adoption.

- In the case of the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber, the resolution pertain to all verdicts passed by this chamber regardless of the date of their passing.

Polish courts began postponing cases on Friday (January 24th) after the country's Supreme Court's ruling deepened the conflict over judges and ratcheted up tensions over an issue that has set the country on a collision course with the European Union.

Poland's Supreme Court ruled on Thursday (January 23th) that rulings made by judges appointed under the new rules could be questioned in view of the clash with European Union law.

Ruling Law and Justice (PiS) says its legislation is aimed at preventing chaos in the Polish judiciary.

The Justice Ministry said the Supreme Court decision was "invalid and was issued in gross violation of the law" and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also criticised the ruling.

The government asked the country's Constitutional Tribunal, headed by Julia Przyłębska, who PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński refers to as a "close friend," to look at whether the Supreme Court has the right to rule on the matter.

"The National Council of the Judiciary has asked the Constitutional Tribunal to render as unconstitutional the provisions allowing to dismiss judges - appointed by the president at the request of the KRS - as unauthorized" - a member of the KRS judge Jarosław Dudzicz informed on Friday.

Asked what the judges should do regarding the Supreme Court resolution, judge Dudzicz replied that "judges should continue passing verdicts". He added that he personally wouldn't have had complied with the resolution. "We do not ignore this resolution. We acknowledge that it's been passed. We think that such resolution shouldn't have been adopted, and therefore, we've asked the Constitutional Tribunal to settle this case" - judge Dudzicz said.

Session of the National Council of the Judiciary Jakub Kamiński/PAP

The European Commission - the guardian of EU law, which trumps national laws - said it had told Warsaw several times that its new legislation was not compatible with EU law because it infringes on the independence of the courts, adding its top rule of law official, the Values and Transparency Commissioner Vera Jourova, will travel to Poland next week.

However, Poland's parliament, dominated by the eurosceptic PiS party which has been at odds with the EU over the matter since it came to power in 2015, on Thursday went ahead and passed the bill into law.

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters, PAP

Autor:gf

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Marcin Bielecki/PAP