Resolution of the Permanent Presidium of the Forum of Judges' Cooperation (FJC) 08/07/2019

Regarding the latest information about informal social events that are regularly held by the leader of the parliamentary majority, the Prime Minister and the President of the Constitutional Tribunal, which have appeared in the public sphere, the Permanent Presidium of the FJC reminds that according to art. 195 § 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland judges of the Constitutional Tribunal may not belong to a political party, a trade union or perform public activities incompatible with the principles of independence of courts and independence of judges.

Due to the fact that the Code of Ethics of the Judges of the Constitutional Tribunal (which was probably adopted in 2017) has not been published yet while referring to relation informal and social meetings of judges of the Constitutional Tribunal with prominent politicians, § 3a of the Code of Professional Ethics of Judges should be considered. In this regulation it is clearly and emphatically indicated that "a judge should avoid all kinds of personal contacts and economic relationships with natural persons, legal persons and other entities, and avoid taking actions in the private, professional and public spheres that could create a conflict of interest and thus negatively affect the perception of the judge as a person impartial and undermine confidence in the office of the judge.

"The Permanent Presidium of the Forum of Judges' Cooperation therefore considers it absolutely unacceptable to initiate and maintain social contacts with politicians who have a significant influence on the executive or legislative branch by any judge of the Constitutional Tribunal, and in particular by the person acting as its President. The existence of such informal contacts raises reasonable doubts as to the impartiality of a such judge, undermines the authority of the Tribunal and its ability to fulfil the constitutional role assigned to it.