Resolution of the Board of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia of 9 February 2022, concerning the suspension of Judge Joanna Hetnarowicz-Sikora

Joanna Hetnarowicz-Sikora

The Board of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia has received with highest indignation the news on the suspension of Judge Joanna Hetnarowicz-Sikora for a judicial decision. This action, undertaken during court session, when she was forbidden to enter the courtroom, has placed the judge alongisde criminals, insulting her dignity and undermining her professional credibility. Initiation of disciplinary proceedings for a judicial decision by the deputy Disciplinary Prosecutor Michał Lasota and the order to suspend the judge issued by the Minister of Justice-Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, executed by the president of the District Court in Słupsk Agnieszka Leszkiewicz constitute a direct infringement of the decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 14 July 2021 (case C-204/21) and of 15 July 2021 (case C-791/19), stating that it is forbidden to hold judges responsible for their judicial decisions, including the examination of a status of a judge, as disciplinary delicts.
In Poland, in the heart of Europe, judges are repressioned for the decisions they issue. It is an unacceptable situation. We demand of the Prime Minister to draw consequences against the member of the cabinet who violates the basic rules of the legal state and acts to the detriment of Poland and its citizens. We also expect that the European institution will undertake all possible actions in order to enforce the restoration of the rule of law in Poland in accordance with the judgments of the European Courts.

The President of the European Association of Judges, Mr. Duro Sessa, signed a Statement concerning a case of disciplinary liability of judges in Poland.

In the Statement the EAJ urges the European Commission and the Council of Europe to use all means to bring the Polish authorities to accept their obligations and, in particular, to ensure that the decisions of the Court of Justice and European Court for Human Rights are respected. In particular, the EAJ emphasizes the principle according to which a judge should not be subjected to a disciplinary proceeding for decisions he or she has taken in the exercise of his or her duties.

Judges for Judges stands in solidarity behind Joanna Hetnarowicz-Sikora and all the other Polish colleagues who uphold the rule of law.