Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki:
There was no revolution after 1989 (the fall of communism in Poland). There was a transformation … On the one hand, the post-communists maintained real power in the country. I was myself often facing the real brutality of the communist regime in the 1980s and saw the same judges, the same faces, in the 90s and 2000., actually at the top of the structure of the judiciary. In judiciary, politics, executive power, business … even today if one looks at the resumes of the CEOs of key private companies, they come from communist times. The richest 100 people in Poland, probably 90% of them, maybe 80 % … are communist secret service officers, sometimes brutal murderers of my brothers from the 80s, or collaborators of the comrades from the Communist Party.”
It is incomprehensible to combine judges with the business community or the top 100 richest people in Poland. The Supreme Court after 1990 was one of the most screened institutions. In 1990 the term of office of all Supreme Court judges nominated in times of communism expired and its entire composition was reestablished with the participation of the newly created (by Solidarity government) National Judicial Council. The new composition included only 22 judges of the previous Supreme Court, the most outstanding, credible and uncompromised:
- 11 judges out of the total number of 31 remained in the Civil Chamber,
- 3 judges from the total number of 47 remained in the Criminal Chamber,
- 3 judges from the total number of 14 remained in the Chamber of Administration, Labour and Social Insurance,
- 5 judges from the total number of 19 remained in the Military Chamber.
That means that 98 judges (81% of total number of all Supreme Court judges) have been “verified”. So harsh, thorough and effective “verification” probably did not occur in the early 90s, in any environment, body or professional group in Poland.
In present Supreme Court, there are only few judges presiding, who held the post during the martial law, but none of them can be accused of any kind of misbehaviour at that time. If this is the case, then current authority should perform an individual assessment rather than total political cleansing. (this is also the assessment of Professor Adam Strzembosz, the icon of the Polish judiciary and the First President of the Supreme Court in 1990-1998, http://wyborcza.pl/7,75398,22936039,sztrzemsz-ze-sedzieach-sad-najwyzszego-wachowali- Aug-przyzwoicie.html
Under the new law the legendary figures defending human rights during communist regime in Poland, who now serve in Supreme Court (such as, for example, Stanisław Zabłocki – defender of opposition activists in the communist era, Józef Iwulski – Solidarity’s court activist in the 1980s, and many others, meritorious in actions for the observance of human rights) will be forced to retire prematurely.
[Meanwhile, the Parliament dominated by PM’s party, designates Stanisław Piotrowicz as a Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights. Ironically, Stanisław Piotrowicz is a former communist prosecutor and member of the Polish communist party, who persecuted oppositionists and for his loyalty received the Bronze Cross for Valor from communist government, he is now leading the “reforms” devastating Polish judiciary.]
Besides, it was the current ruling party that promoted a decade ago a few dozens of “evil” judges involved in the trials against oppositionists (in 2005 – 2007, when current ruling party was in power, the government of Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński nominated as a deputy minister of justice a communist judge Andrzej Kryże, a judge who administered jail penalty for oppositionists organizing celebrations of the Independence Day in ‘80s). There are documented cases where the Minister of Justice – under applicable law – refuses (without any justification) to accept the extension of the post to judges who have turned 60 (recently reduced retirement age of 60) and agrees to extend a post to a judge who was an employee of the communist ministry of justice in 80’s, during martial law.