Resolutions of the Assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań of 27 November 2018

Resolution no. 1 of the Assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań of 27 November 2018 on the position posted in the website of the National Council of the Judiciary on 9 November 2018 regarding Supreme Court Judge Stanisław Zabłocki

The judges of the Regional Court in Poznań express their support and respect for the President of the Supreme Court, Stanisław Zabłocki. We consider the statements formulated by the people holding office in the body acting as the National Council of the Judiciary, including the judges, questioning the rule of law and Judge’s ethical qualifications to be disgraceful. To every conscious citizen, President Stanisław Zabłocki is one of the most outstanding lawyers of contemporary Poland; he is an outstanding defence council who has been written into the history of the defence of Rittmeister Witold Pilecki for all times; he is a distinguished Supreme Court judge; finally, he is one of the co-creators of contemporary Polish criminal law. The Judge’s moving speech in the Polish Senate on 14 December 2017 remains the most perfect lesson for every Polish judge on how to combine the requisite judiciary restraint in public affairs with the need to decidedly oppose the breach of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland by representatives of the executive and legislative authorities. Together with the other Supreme Court judges, including the First President of the Supreme Court, Judge Stanisław Zabłocki today gives the most respectable testimony of what being a judge involves.

 

Resolution no. 2 of the Assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań of 27 November on the assessment of the activities of the judges in the body acting as the National Council of the Judiciary

The judges of the Regional Court in Poznań express their decided objection to the activities of the following judges: Leszek Mazur, Maciej Mitera, Dariusz Drajewicz, Marek Jaskulski, Teresa Kurcyusz-Furmanik, Dagmara Pawełczyk-Woicka, Jarosław Dudzicz, Grzegorz Furmankiewicz, Joanna Kołodziej-Michałowicz, Ewa Łąpińska, Paweł Styrna, Rafał Puchalski and Zbigniew Łupina, which were performed within the body acting as the National Council of the Judiciary. We adamantly declare that these people do not represent judges, but the politicians who entrusted them with these functions. We consider their statements and servile behaviour with respect to representatives of the executive and legislative authorities, questioning the essence of the constitutional principle of the division of powers or obligations of the public authority arising from Poland’s membership of the European Union, to be unacceptable and unworthy. This also applies to the statements of 9 November 2018 regarding being bound by judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

We assess the issuing of opinions on candidates for judicial offices in the Supreme Court and the ordinary courts, including, in particular, the Regional Court in Łódź, the Regional Court in Zielona Góra and the Rzeszów Appellate Court, as the disregard of the fundamental standards of decency and reliability. We treat the retention by the person acting as the Chairperson of the National Council of the Judiciary of the appeals of the judges against the resolutions containing the presentation of candidates to judicial offices, depriving these judges of the right to a judicial review of these activities, as an obvious failure to perform his official duties. Such conduct not only proves that these people are incapable of upholding the impartiality of judges and the independence of the courts, but also shows that they should no longer hold the honourable office of judge.

We simultaneously appeal to the judges of the courts in which those judges, who hold positions in the body acting as the National Council of the Judiciary, perform their official duties on a day-to-day basis to act in accordance with the wording of §5 para. 4 of the Code of Professional Ethics of Judges and Judicial Assessors in contacts with these people.

 

Resolution no. 3 of the Assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań of 27 November on the assessment of the activities of the disciplinary representative of ordinary court judges, Piotr Schab and his deputies, Michał Lasota and Przemysław Radzik

We assess the actions of the disciplinary representative of the judges of the ordinary courts, Piotr Schab, and his deputies, Michał Lasota and Przemysław Radzik, as simply unworthy. Their activity, which has no legal or factual grounds, with respect to judges unwaveringly upholding the rule of law, combined with complete passivity with respect to numerous obvious transgressions with respect to the dignity of the office and breaches of the prohibition expressed in Article 178, para. 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland by the judges holding office in the body acting as the National Council of the Judiciary and performing activities at the Ministry of Justice, proves that the actions of the representatives have nothing in common with the tasks specified by the Act on the System of Ordinary Courts and are intended exclusively to intimidate those representatives of the judiciary, for whom judicial vows are not an empty phrase, but the highest obligation from which a judge cannot be released. The non-substantive reason for the activity of the representative and his deputies is clearly indicated by the breach of the law by the representative and his deputies in these activities, including the unlawful “search” of the papers of the judges for possible shortcomings (in the absence of any grounds for believing that these shortcomings could have ever arisen at all), conducting activities which are not known under Polish law and depriving the judges being interrogated of their basic procedural rights. We express our conviction that such behaviour of the representatives and his deputies in a state of law should result in their legal liability. We simultaneously declare our solidarity with and respect for all those judges who are affected by the unlawful actions of the disciplinary representative and his deputies. We also approve of the actions of the judges acting as deputies to the disciplinary representative at the regional court and at the appellate court, who have not succumbed to the pressure to institute proceedings against judges.

 

Resolution no. 4 of the Assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań of 27 November on the support of the pay demands of the employees of the ordinary courts

The Assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań supports the pay demands of the employees of the ordinary courts, performing responsible work within the structure of the justice system. The salaries of these employees, who are an important link in the correct functioning of the courts at all levels, have remained unchanged since 2011, while the revaluation in 2010 was symbolic.

The assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań appeals to the legislative authority and the executive authority to immediately introduce regulations ensuring fair pay for court employees, as well as permanently and fully adjust the salaries of the court employees. The assurances of the representatives of the executive about the very good condition of the state budget, the positive forecasts of economic growth, substantial increases for other occupational groups maintained with public funds and announcements of significant social transfers to further social groups reassures us that pay increases for court employees in the current state of finances public is fully possible and only requires a bold political decision.

 

Resolution no. 5 of the Assembly of Judges of the Regional Court in Poznań of 27 November on the assessment of the constitutionality of the body currently acting as the National Council of the Judiciary

The judges of the Regional Court in Poznań express their concern over the passivity of the lawmakers regarding the growing fundamental doubts as to the compliance of the system of the body currently acting as the National Council of the Judiciary with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and European Union law.

We are obliged to reiterate that, pursuant to Article 179 of the Constitution, the President of the Republic of Poland appoints judges exclusively on the motion of the National Council of the Judiciary, so any defective formation of the membership of this body may be a pretext for attempts to question the status of the judges elected on its motion. We also share the concerns expressed by the Supreme Court in the legal question of 30 August 2018, referred to in the case of case reference III OP 7/18 that the possible acknowledgement of a lack of guarantee of independence of the National Council of the Judiciary from the executive and legislative authorities may result in questioning the status of judges elected by that body as an independent and impartial court in the meaning of European Union law.

In view of the above reservations, as people exercising judicial authority, we are obliged to point out that the right of citizens for their cases to be heard by an independent court, as one of the fundamental principles of the rule of law, is under threat. We also notice that the rights of those citizens, who apply for judicial offices after years of studying and working with confidence in the state and in accordance with the applicable procedures, are particularly threatened. These people have the right to demand of a democratic state of law that their applications are assessed by an independent body and that their appointments to the office of judge cannot be contested in the future.

We demand that the representatives of the legislative authority take up legislative work forthwith to remove doubts as to the compliance of the system of the National Council of the Judiciary with the constitutional standard, thereby restoring the appropriate standard of protection of civic rights.

 

Resolution no. 6 of the Assembly of judges of the Regional Court in Poznań of 27 November on the publication of the content of the resolution

The judges of the Regional Court in Poznań obligate the President of the Regional Court in Poznań to post the resolutions passed on 27 November 2018 on the website of the District Court in Poznań and to send their copies to the President of the Republic of Poland, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Justice, the Speaker of the Sejm, the Speaker of the Senate, the National Council of the Judiciary, the disciplinary representative of the ordinary court judges, the Ombudsman, the First President of the Supreme Court, the presidents of the appellate and regional courts, the Presidents of District Court for Poznań – Stare Miasto in Poznań, the District Court for Poznań – Nowe Miasto i Wilda in Poznań, the District Court for Poznań – Grunwald i Jeżyce in Poznań, associations and organizations of judges, the President of the Supreme Bar Council and the President of the National Council of Legal Advisers and to provide information on about the fulfilment of this obligation.