Warsaw, 19 November 2020
Mrs Ursula von der Leyen
President of the Commission of the European Union
Mr David Sassoli
President of the European Parliament
Mr Charles Michel
President of the European Council
to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council
On November 17th 2020, during a press conference organized by the Minister of Justice Prosecutor General in connection with the works on the budget of the European Union and binding the funds with the rule of law, the following words were spoken: VETO or death.
A day later, persons who by the same Minister of Justice Prosecutor General were directly or indirectly appointed to their positions of prosecutors and „judges” of the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court, have shown in practice what VETO to the Rule of Law means. On that day, on the basis of charges of political character, Judge Igor Tuleya has been deprived of his immunity, suspended in his judicial service and divested of 25 percent of his salary.
The decision of illegally acting Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court shows ostentatious disrespect of the resolution of joint Chambers of the Supreme Court undertaken as a consequence of the decisions of CJEU, as well as it ignores the decision of CJEU of 8th April 2020, and by doing so it severely infringes the European law as well as the provisions of the Polish Constitution. Such actions of persons sitting in the aforementioned chamber exclude Poland from the circle of civilized countries in which such values as rule of law or independent judiciary constitute the foundation of the functioning of a democratic state.
As Polish and European judges we cannot be indifferent to cases of such glaring violation of the law. It is hard to understand resistance against conditioning the transfer of union funds upon observing the rule of law in a situation when for the last couple of years the European community was being ensured that there is no attempt at the rule of law in Poland. From our perspective it is an indirect admission by the Polish government to breaking the basic rules of the democratic legal state. However, as a number of studies indicate, the Polish judges (about 92%) as well as a majority of Polish society recognize a serious threat to the rule of law in our country and it seems that it is the European Union that has in its hands all the tools necessary to stop this process.
Article 2 of the Treaty of European Union states that he Union is based on the values of respect of a person, freedom, democracy, equality, legal state, as well as respect for human rights, including the rights of minorities. As great defenders of human and citizens’ rights have emphasized, Rule of Law is not negotiable. It is the very foundation on which the European Union is built. Polish judges again endure sacrifices of the fight for the rule of law, not only Polish, but also European. If the European values are to survive, we need solidarity in action. We appeal for such solidarity to all European leaders. Such actions are necessary here and now. Any delay will result in more victims and will eliminate Poland, Polish men and women from the circle of civilized democratic states of the European Union.
We appeal for a VETO of the Europeans against the lawlessness of the actions of the politicians of the current Polish government and for undertaking real action.
dr. hab. prof US
President of the Polish Judges Association IUSTITIA