In early August 2022, Ewa Leszczyńska-Furtak and Ewa Gregajtys, two experienced Justices of the 2nd Criminal Department of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw, were transferred to the Labour and Social Insurance Department without their consent in virtue of the snap decisions by Piotr Schab, the President of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw. Małgorzata Manowska, acting as the First President of the Supreme Court, urged Piotr Schab, the President of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw, to reverse these decisions.
In response, Piotr Schab held:
Warsaw, August 19, 2022
The President of The Court of Appeal in Warsaw
Mrs Małgorzata Manowska
The First President
Of The Supreme Court
Esteemed Mrs President,
In response to your plea of August 16, 2022, let me emphasize the following.
Recognising wholly the uniqueness of the decisions of the President of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw, which may result in an alternation of the working conditions of Justice Ewa Gregajtys and Justice Ewa Leszczyńska - Furtak, I would like to assure you that this decision was taken as a result of an analysis of all the circumstances essential to the proper functioning of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw.
The crucial argument that should be presented is the long-term denial by Justice Ewa Leszczyńska - Furtak and Justice Ewa Gregajtys of the performance of fundamental official duties, which are regarded as the essence of the justice system.
Manifested in several letters addressed to the authorities of the Court and in numerous judgments and statements in front of the parties to proceedings, the assessment of the professional status of other judges is, on the one hand, a flagrant violation of the basic requirements of judicial ethics, and, on the other hand, it torpedoes the proper performance of public service in the Court of Appeal in Warsaw, since the aforementioned usurp the right to refuse to adjudicate in collegial panels formed with the majority of the judges of the 2nd Criminal Division of this Court. This meets with the opposition of participants to the proceedings, who have the obvious right to a fair administration of justice.
The rationale by Justice Ewa Gregajtys and Justice Ewa Leszczyńska-Furtak behind refusing to adjudicate is based on the denial of the constitutional order, undermining the role of the President of the Republic of Poland in the process of appointing judges, or even on personal charges against judges.
Plenty of these allegations, in my opinion, should be considered derogatory; if you voice such an expectation, I may document the above conclusion with relevant records of the hearings.
Thus, the line which is the essential condition for the Court to fulfil its important public role has been crossed.
The refusal of judicial work by the Justices has an obvious impact on the assessment of their contribution to the functioning of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw.
For these reasons, I maintain a firm view that it is necessary to change the terms of service of Justice Ewa Gregajtys and Justice Ewa Leszczyńska-Furtak, which essentially deprives these Justices of the right to adjudicate in collegial panels, and at the same time ought to lead to more efficient use of their professional potential in a Division of the Court, in which a huge increase in the number of cases brought under its jurisdiction can be noticed.
Judge Piotr Schab