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.

The joint statement on necessary, urgent actions of the Minister of Justice

The joint statement of:

Judges` Association Themis,

National Association of Administrative Court Judges,

The Association of Family Judges Pro Familia

The Association of Family Judges in Poland,

The Forum of Judges' Cooperation,

Polish Judges' Association 'Iustitia'

on necessary, urgent actions of the Minister of Justice.

Polish citizens demand real changes resulting in efficient, fair and stable courts. There are decisions that the Minister of Justice can take immediately that do not require amending laws.

The efficiency of the courts is getting worse. People appointed by Zbigniew Ziobro to the ministry or to administrative positions within the courts are blocking posts in the courts and adjudicate much less than other judges. The Ministry of Justice (instead of presenting a comprehensive draft of changes to the neo-KRS [1] has frozen competitions for judicial positions. Citizens are waiting longer and longer for their family, property, personal cases pending at the courts to be cuncluded. Such a situation is socially unacceptable.

Such discredited figures as Piotr Schab, Przemysław Radzik and Michał Lasota are still the faces of the disciplinary courts. Members of the so-called Neo-National Council of the Judiciary are still at the head of large courts. We want courts that are open to citizens, that are trusted by the general public and that are managed by people with high ethics.

From this perspective, the Minister of Justice should immediately dismiss the Disciplinary Commissioners Piotr Schab, Przemysław Radzik and Michał Lasota. The deeds they committed should also be explained by an independent prosecutor.

In order to improve the operation of the courts, the case load ratios of the judges with administrative functions should be urgently reviewed and adjusted to the situation in the courts, which requires everyone to work hard.

It is urgent to set up codification committees for the creation of legislation to enable the efficient adjudication of cases, especially those that systemically overflood the courts. The introduction of new IT solutions will make it possible to unblock several hundred posts.
Furthermore, for ethical reasons, it is not possible to occupy functional positions and to remain on secondment in the Ministry of persons who:

1. accepted positions as a result of the dismissal of their predecessors under the spec law in 2017 - 2018,

2. gave support to candidates for the neo-KRS,

3. are or were members of the neo-KRS,

4. received appointments with the participation of the neo-KRS (excluding persons after the National School for Judges and Prosecutors and former assistants and registrars),

5. are not judges of the court they administer.

The dismissal of such presidents finds its basis in the provision of Article 27 § 1 point 2 of the Law on the System of the Common Court. If this kind of systemic assumption is adopted, the administering of the situation in the judiciary could accelerate. We would also like to remind of the running time limitation periods for disciplinary torts. Currently, only the Minister of Justice has the real possibility to initiate disciplinary proceedings.

The Minister's declaration that persons designated by the judicial self-government will be appointed to vacant presidents' and vice-presidents' positions will enable judges of high ethical standing to be selected. We also draw attention to the lack of possibility to obtain the opinion of the National Council of the Judiciary (this constitutional body is currently not functioning). In this situation the competence of the Minister, until the judges – members of NCJ are appointed in accordance with the provisions of the Polish Constitution, is unlimited.
Our common goal should be to provide Poles with the efficient and modern courts they deserve. The conclusion of the EC's case on the violation of the Treaties is one of many steps on the way to this goal. The judgements of the European courts must be comprehensively implemented and fully unblock the National Recovery and Resilience Plan funds.

[1] Krajowa Rada Sądownictwa – National Coucil of the Judiciary (translator`s footnote)

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