One year ago on Saturday 11 January 2020 Judges for Judges participated in the Silent March of the Thousand Robes, in the defense of the Rule of Law, as European judges in solidarity with our Polish colleagues. It was a historical day.
Unfortunately the Rule of law situation in Poland is still grim. We therefore would like to share an initiative of Polish Judges Association Iustitia inviting judges, lawyers, prosecutors, legal counsels, notaries, but also citizens defending democracy and human rights to take part in this virtual relay race for the Rule of Law and covering at least a distance of 1 km running, marching, walking/Nordic walking, cycling or cross-country skiing. Please click ‘Continue reading‘ for the – simple – instructions.
Vandaag is de eerste nieuwsbrief van het nieuwe jaar verschenen. Daarin staan verhalen van diverse rechters uit Polenen Turkije, plus een interview voor een project van ‘The Arrested Lawyers Initiative‘.
Judges for Judges and Professor Laurent Pech have submitted a joint third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Judge Igor Tuleya.
The case of Tuleya v Poland concerns the multiple disciplinary proceedings initiated against a Polish judge, who is well-known among the judges and by the public at large for his defence of the rule of law in Poland.
The Polish Disciplinary Commissioner of Judges Przemyslaw Radzik opened an investigation into the judges who withheld the enforceability of all preventive measures taken against lawyer Roman Giertych. In a hearing on 3 December, the same bench will handle the case on the merits. ‘This is an obvious attempt to put pressure on the court’, says his defence attorney Jakub Wende.
The Polish legal system has been deteriorating for five years. These developments encourage politicians in other European states to limit judicial independence as well. The ‘1000 Robes March’ in Warsaw on 11 January 2020 proved that we are one European magistrate’s family defending the rule of law. The Polish Judges Association IUSTITIA now continues this mission through an online petition to the European Commission. Judges for Judges calls on all European magistrates to sign this letter in support of our colleagues.
The Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court has waived the immunity of Judge Igor Tuleya, suspended him from all judicial duties and cut his remuneration by 25% on 18 November 2020.
The interim measures of the Court of Justice of the European Union have been blatantly ignored in order to continue these unlawful activities. Serious irreparable damage to Polish judges has already been done and the chilling effect on the Polish judiciary is now increased even further.
Seen the gravity of the situation, Judges for Judges and three European Associations of Judges and Prosecutors, in a new joint statement call upon the Council of the European Union to clearly and unequivocally uphold the fundamental value of judicial independence in the European Union and its Member States, and therefore to urgently respond to the Polish rule of law crisis and make sure that the government of Poland veers away from the previously chosen path and takes all appropriate steps to restore and respect the independence of the judiciary.
Judges for Judges and Professor Laurent Pech have submitted a joint third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Judge Waldemar Żurek.
The case of Żurek v Poland concerns the premature termination of a judge’s mandate as a member of the National Council of the Judiciary, his dismissal as spokesperson for that organ, and the alleged campaign to silence him.
On 21 October 2020 the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court of Poland will hear the case of Judge Irena Majcher. The prosecutor has filed a motion to waive her immunity, because a judicial decision of hers allegedly constitutes a criminal offence. This will set a dangerous precedent, writes Polish Judges’ Association Iustitia.
The judicial immunity of Polish judge Beata Morawiec was lifted by the Discipinary Chamber of the Supreme Court of Poland. This is a blatant violation of the interim measures issued by the European Court of Justice. Judges for Judges calls for immediate action from the European Commission.
President Beata Morawiec of the Polish judges’ association Themiswas removed from her position as court president, saw her official laptop containing sensitive data being taken by a public prosecutor and is now awaiting proceedings to have her immunity waived. The disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Monday 12 October 2020. This case is ‘a manifestation of legal harassment of judges who defend the rule of law in Poland‘, according to judge Dariusz Mazur. Judges for Judges hereby calls attention to his full case study and her statement on the matter.