Judges for Judges and Professor Laurent Pech have submitted joint third party interventions before the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of Polish judges Biliński and Juszczyszyn.
The case of Biliński v Poland primarily concerns the proceedings concerning the applicant’s forced transfer from the Criminal to the Family and Juvenile Division, which amounted to a disguised reprisal for his rulings and was unfair in many aspects.
The case of Juszczyszyn v Poland concerns the proceedings for and following the suspension of the applicant from his official duties by a body itself since suspended twice by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and whose lack of independence has also been definitively established by the ECJ as a matter of EU law.
The Rule of Law has been suspended in Turkey for the last five years. In the tragic backsliding that followd the attempted Coup d’État of 15 July 2016, the Turkish judiciary has seen one of its darkest pages: the dismissal of thousands of judges and prosecutors, long imprisonments in life endangering detention conditions after unfair trials, and socially stigmatized and economically threatened families.
The Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey, consisting of the four major judicial associations in Europe, in an official statement directed at the Council of Europe and the European Commission therefore:
continues to stand in solidarity behind the unlawfully and illegally detained and/or dismissed Turkish judges and prosecutors;
strongly urges the European institutions to call on Turkey to provide guarantees and standards for a de iure and de facto independence of the judges and prosecutors as well as to take responsibility to demand so in their various partnerships and relations with Turkey;
strongly urges the European institutions to call on Turkey to carry out the European Court judgments and to review all decisions for dismissal of Turkish judges or prosecutors since 15 July 2016 and all pre-trial detention orders and criminal convictions regarding membership of an illegal organization.
If ‘Europe will be forged in its crises’, then this is the crisis of our times. In a joint public statement (also available in Polish) on the recent developments in Poland, the four European Associations of Judges and Prosecutors today call upon the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council:
to act institutionally towards Polish national authorities and the heads of the Polish executive branch to immediately restore the rule of law;
to take all necessary measures and activate all instruments enshrined in the Treaties, in order to guarantee the respect for the EU legal order.
The President of the Supreme Court of Poland Judge Józef Iwulski is suspended by the Disciplinary Chamber, notwithstanding unambiguous rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union and a similar motion of the European Commission. Judges for Judges endorses the statements issued on this ‘resolution’ by the National Board of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia and 74 Supreme Court Judges.
‘An unimaginable situation of arresting a judge for a judgement can become a fact in a moment.’ The Polish Judges’ Association Iustitia calls on European Commission vice-president Věra Jourová and member Didier Reynders, because ‘the fates of thousands of Polish judges depend on applying the preventive measures at the right time.’
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 Jan Grzęda.
The case of Grzęda v Poland concerns legislative changes as a result of which the office of a Supreme Administrative Court judge elected to the National Council of the Judiciary (NCJ) in Polandwas prematurely terminated before the end of his constitutionally guaranteed four-year term.
Poolse rechters die worden afgewezen voor het Hooggerechtshof kunnen die afwijzing laten toetsen door een Europees gerecht, ook als de nationale Grondwet of het Constitutioneel Hof elk beroep uitsluit. Dat heeft het Hof van Justitie van de Europese Unie op 2 maart bepaald. De Raad voor de Rechtspraak in Polen beoordeelt sollicitaties namelijk niet politiek onafhankelijk. Deze uitspraak zet de benoeming van ruim 40 rechters in het Hooggerechtshof onder president Andrzej Duda op losse schroeven. Minister van Justitie Zbigniew Ziobro noemt de uitspraak ‘onaanvaardbaar’.
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.
‘The decision not only clearly prohibits the Polish government to illegally repress judges, by suspending the so-called Disciplinary Chamber, but has a much broader effect – it should close the way for abuse of the arbitrary recognition of the elections validity’, says the president of the Association of Polish Judges Iustitia professor Krystian Markiewicz.