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Position of the National Board of the Polish Judges` Association Iustitia on the actions of Przemysław Radzik and Piotr Schab in the Court of Appeal in Warsaw

Warsaw, 6 August 2022.


In letters dated August 5 2022, Vice President of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw Przemysław Radzik, acting in the place of Piotr Schab, informed the judges of the Second Criminal Department of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw: Ewa Gregajtys and Ewa Leszczyńska - Furtak, about their transfer, against their will, to the Third Department of Labour and Social Insurance.

The decision of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw management, appointed by Zbigniew Ziobro the Minister of Justice - Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobra, was made in clear and flagrant violation of the law. In an incomprehensible manner, despite the fact that it concerns judges of the Court of Appeal, it refers to the opinion of the Collegium of the District Court in Warsaw. It was made in a manner completely ignoring Article 22a § 1 § 4a and § 4c of the Act of 27 July 2001. Law on the System of the Common Courts.

It concerns the department, that is crucial from the perspective of the interests of those in power, dealing with appeal control of verdicts of the Regional Court in Warsaw, concerning, inter alia, the ordering of operational control at the request of the Head of the CBA (Central Anti - Corruption Bureau) Head of the ABW (Interior Security Agency) or destruction of operational materials.

It interferes in the work of the department, which already has a judging panel of: a member of the defective NCJ, 3 court presidents, 4 disciplinary commissioners, 2 disciplinary judges, 3 court presidents - owing their additional functions and salaries to the Minister of Justice - the Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro or persons related to him - 11 judges appointed by the defective NCJ (including 9 already appointed by the President of the Republic of Poland) .

It was not done due to the adjudicatory needs of the court, since recently the management of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw had been looking, also in lower courts, including outside Warsaw, for judges ready to undertake adjudication in the department.

The decision excludes experienced judges with many years of praxis in adjudicating the most serious criminal cases from working in the Second Criminal Division, transferring them to adjudicate in cases with completely different specifics and under a different procedure. It also removes judges who used to apply the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, respected the rulings of the European courts: ECtHR and CJEU.

It prevents citizens from having their cases heard in the Second Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal by a panel of judges legally formed in accordance with the Polish Constitution and European standards.

The illegal decision of Przemyslaw Radzik and Piotr Schab constitutes obvious harassment and retaliation against judges applying European law. This decision shows that it is possible, thanks to the political leadership of the courts, to harass judges in other ways than through disciplinary proceedings. As long as there is a political National Council of the Judiciary and politically appointed court presidents, the minimum guarantees of judges' independence are not met in Poland.