We are an independent, apolitical and self-governing association of Polish judges.
Our main mission is to defend freedom and civil rights, which are the democratic foundations of Poland - a member of the the European Union.
We have been operating for more than 25 years, also as part of different international organisations of judges. We associate over 3,500 judges, most of them in Poland.

17th July 2023 Position of the National Board of the Polish Judges' Association IUSTITIA on the media attacks

17th July 2023 Position of the National Board of the Polish Judges' Association IUSTITIA on the media attacks of Zbigniew Ziobro - the Minister of Justice - the Prosecutor General and his subordinates on the judge of the District Court - Poznań Stare Miasto in Poznań in connection with the sentence passed against Marika M. for the crime of hooliganism robbery.

The National Board of the Polish Judges' Association  IUSTITIA once again expresses its strong opposition to the use of court proceedings for political campaigning which undermines the principles of a democratic state of law.

The Minister of Justice - Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro grossly abused his powers by calling the final verdict of the District Court in Poznań a "judicial crime". This verdict was handed down in accordance with the laws enacted as a result of the actions of Zbigniew Ziobro himself and his ministry, as a result of the indictment brought by the prosecutor's office subordinate to him and in accordance with the prosecutor's conclusions.

In recent years, we have witnessed a significant tightening of criminal repression while at the same time limiting and even in some cases incapacitating the courts, which do not have the flexibility to apply draconian legislation. This is part of the long-standing populist penal policy pursued by Zbigniew Ziobro in order to allegedly improve public safety by tightening penalties. We would like to remind all that judges do not make the law, but are obliged to apply it. The IUSTITIA Association has repeatedly warned against the consequences of chaotic and ill-considered changes to the law, including criminal law.

It is worth noting that Zbigniew Ziobro, as Minister of Justice - Prosecutor General, first led to the enactment of certain laws and then publicly stigmatises and insults a judge forced to apply them.

This case is not an isolated one. For many months, we have been observing personal attacks by Zbigniew Ziobro and his deputies Marcin Warchol and Sebastian Kaleta on judges who pass sentences that are not in line with the ideas of political power.

This situation is all the more dangerous because each such attack results in a wave of heckling against a particular judge, which could end in tragedy.

We demand that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and his subordinate ministers respect the principles of the tripartite division of power. Courts, like any other institution of the state, are subject to criticism, but this criticism must be factual and substantive. In a state governed by the rule of law, court judgments may only be challenged in accordance with the rules, not at a press conference.

We expect the Prosecutor General to exercise his procedural powers, not demagogic speeches that damage the good name of judges, undermine their independence and threaten their personal safety.