An open letter of the Board of Iustitia to the judges applying to new National Judiciary Council

Dear Fellow Judges,

Each political power makes room for itself to govern and fulfill its political mandate for as long as possible. The duties of a judge, which are to do justice and guard the law, are given by the State. Each power must realize its rights respecting the Constitution, deriving the legitimization from its spirit free of any particular worldview.

Today, in the opinion of the greatest legal authorities, the political power has violated the constitutional norms by introducing the new law of the National Judiciary Council. It has done so in the way which in political science has been termed ‘dictatorship of the majority’.

In deciding to put forward your candidacy to an organ being thus formed you owe the society an answer to the most important question, question which is posed to every judge daily and with every decision he or she makes: what do you want to serve? In the name of what values do you wish to make yourselves a part of the political machine, operating without respect for the culture of Polish parliamentarism and dialogue, introducing solutions within the National Judiciary Council that the People have not given their consent to in the Constitution?

Each of us judges, both those active in the judicial associations and those outside such associations, is first and foremost a citizen of the Republic of Poland. On each of us rests the duty to strengthen it and to give utmost care to the common good. In the rota of the judicial oath you will not find formulations of political submission and personal ambition. You will find a universal reason of a judge’s service. The sense of the hard labour, full of sacrifices, of the Polish judges. Also a motivation for many important social and educational activities, which strengthen the state of law, which our Country is and should remain.

We ask you therefore to reconsider your decision. We ask for solidarity with the judges, the vast majority of who have refused to participate in this unconstitutional procedure. Consider the significance of your conduct – towards the Republic of Poland, the society and the values which the law must protect: justice, liberty and democracy. It is not too late yet.