Chief Justice responds to President Duda's remarks on Polish judges

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Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has issued a response to President Duda's comments on Polish judges (video from December 19)TVN24 News in English
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"This narration must stop, the one about judges fighting to preserve their status, that they oppose changes and stand against the government - this is completely untrue," Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Gersdorf wrote in her statement issued on Monday.

The statement issued by judge Gersdorf, posted at the Supreme Court's website, is a response to President Andrzej Duda's comments given on Sunday in state-controlled public television (TVP).

"I would like clearly stress that judges stand up today because of their sense of responsibility for individual citizens, for their benefit. So that each case is judged not by particular judges, but by independent and impartial courts," judge Gersdorf wrote.

She added that the current situation wouldn't have occured if "judges of the previous KRS (National Council of the Judiciary) hadn't had their tenures ended against the constitution, and new KRS members hadn't been appointed in their place by the Sejm". "We also wouldn't have this situation if the President of Poland hadn't appointed judges to sit in the Supreme Court, thereby ignoring preventive measures ordered by the Supreme Administrative Court," Chief Justice wrote.

Professor Gersdorf also pointed out that we wouldn't find ourselves in current situation if the President hadn't taken, "under the guise of night", oaths of office from people appointed to already filled positions in the Constitutional Tribunal.

Asked on Sunday in TVP Info about the recent bill on courts put forward by PiS which judge Gersdorf called a "muzzle law", President Andrzej Duda said: "I feel overwhelmed with shame when I hear someone who calls herself Chief Justice of th Supreme Court saying such things in foreign countries about the Polish state. Even if this is happening only within the judicial circles - it's simply shameful. It's a shame that such person has been appointed Chief Justice in the first place".

"A river of lies about legislation on judicial system flows from Poland to the Western Europe," President Duda added. In his opinion, Poland is being "demonised" by groups which realised they are losing influence. The judicial branch tries to prove that it is superior to other powers," the President said.

Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP