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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.

Iustitia Information Network - Communiqué No. 9/2023 dated December 29, 2023.

Communiqué No. 9/2023 dated December 29, 2023.

Dear Colleagues,

we present another communiqué on the activities of the Association of Polish Judges Iustitia. In this communiqué we will describe the events of November and most of December 2023.

Supreme Court on judicial appointments involving neo-KRS.

We see the consequences of the bad reforms of the dearest Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro. In yet another decision, the Supreme Court says that Supreme Court appointees cannot issue valid rulings, and most importantly, the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs is not a court.

In a decision dated 19.10.2023. I ZB 52/22 the Supreme Court ruled that :

"The Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber (...).is not a "court established by law", does not have the status of a "court" in the constitutional and convention sense, and Judge M. S. was not appointed to the office of a judge of the Supreme Court."

In the reasons for the order, the Supreme Court indicated, among other things :

"This makes it necessary to always determine the occurrence of an absolute ground of appeal under Article 439 § 1 item 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure with regard to persons appointed by the President of the Republic of Poland to serve as a judge of the Supreme Court at the request of the NCJ, formed by the law of December 8, 2017, whenever they participated in the issuance of the decision, and, as the Supreme Court argues in its rulings, it is not even necessary to carry out any additional tests of independence and impartiality, i.e. to check whether the defect in the reality of the specific case led to a violation of the standard of independence and impartiality within the meaning of Article 45(1) of the Constitution, Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and Article 6(1) of the ECHR (see decision of November 23, 2022, II KZ 39/22; order of April 12, 2021, V KZ 64/21)."

For more on this topic, see : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/4763-sad-najwyzszy-o-powolaniach-sedziow-z-udzialem-neokrs-i-zb-52-22-i-skutkow-ich-orzeczen&source=gmail&ust=1704397643148000&usg=AOvVaw1dwfNnXING-WFTyy6Xsleq">https://www.iustitia.pl/4763-sad-najwyzszy-o-powolaniach-sedziow-z-udzialem-neokrs-i-zb-52-22-i-skutkow-ich-orzeczen.

ECHR in Walesa v. Poland case challenges appointments made with neo-KRS and status of Supreme Court Control Chamber.

November 23, 2023. The European Court of Human Rights has issued its judgment in the case of Lech Walesa v. Poland.

The case concerns a complaint that former Polish President Lech Walesa filed as a result of the annulment of a final and favourable to him, but contested by power politicians, court judgment in his case.

In Walesa v. Poland case, the Court found that the Supreme Court's Extraordinary and Public Review Chamber, which heard the extraordinary complaint, was not "an independent and impartial court established by law." This is not a surprise, the ECHR has already prejudged this in other judgments, e.g. in the 2021 Dolińska-Ficek and Ozimek v. Poland ruling.

You can read more about the judgment here : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/4769-etpcz-w-sprawie-walesa-przeciwko-polsce-echr-322-2023-podwaza-nominacje-dokonane-z-udzialem-neo-krs-oraz-status-izby-kontroli-sn&source=gmail&ust=1704397643148000&usg=AOvVaw1q634jSVBX6mzlhOFExpvz">https://www.iustitia.pl/4769-etpcz-w-sprawie-walesa-przeciwko-polsce-echr-322-2023-podwaza-nominacje-dokonane-z-udzialem-neo-krs-oraz-status-izby-kontroli-sn.

Iustitia representatives represented us in Tylösand, Belgrade and Budapest.

A conference for Swedish judges called "Regional domarinternat" was held in Tylösand (Sweden) on October 5-6, attended by about a hundred judges from southern Sweden. During this conference, Judge Dorota Zabludowska, a member of the National Board of Polish Judges` Association Iustitia, gave a lecture called "the Role of Judiciary in Modern Society," presenting the experience of Polish judges over the past few years.

On October 6-8, a meeting of the MEDEL Association of Judges and Prosecutors was held in Belgrade, Serbia, in which three representatives of Iustitia participated: Dorota Zabludowska (member of the National Board), Lukasz Mrozek (member of the international section) and Monika Frąckowiak (MEDEL Vice President). On Friday, October 6, the judges took part in an international conference on systems for evaluating the performance of judges in various European legal orders, while on Saturday, October 7, the MEDEL meeting presented the current situation in Poland.

On October 12-13, Budapest (Hungary) hosted a conference organized by ELTE University (The Institute of Political and International Studies) in cooperation with the CNR Institute for International Legal Studies on the topic: "Empowering Domestic Judiciaries: The Role of European Actors in Defending Judicial Independence." Judge Dorota Zabludowska, a member of Iustitia's Board, took part in a panel entitled: "Mobilizing Judges On and Off the Bench". The panel also included: Tamas Matusik (President of the Hungarian Judicial Council, honoured with the Independence Award by the International Association of Judges), Duro Sessa (President of the International Association of Judges) and Luca Perilli (Judge from Trento, Italy).

More can be found at the link : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/4773-przedstawicielki-i-przedstawiciele-iustitii-reprezentowali-nas-w-tyloesand-szwecja-w-belgradzie-serbia-w-budapeszcie-wegry&source=gmail&ust=1704397643148000&usg=AOvVaw2WvPFRTyqVjbuMZRI6Y_AA">https://www.iustitia.pl/4773-przedstawicielki-i-przedstawiciele-iustitii-reprezentowali-nas-w-tyloesand-szwecja-w-belgradzie-serbia-w-budapeszcie-wegry.

MEDEL supports the bills prepared by Iustitie.

"In view of the pro-democratic choice of citizens made on October 15, 2023, Medel calls on all state bodies in Poland to take immediate action to restore the rule of law in the spirit of the ECtHR and CJEU rulings, with a particular focus on restoring constitutional order in the National Council of the Judiciary. MEDEL supports the draft laws prepared by our member, the Iustitia Association of Polish Judges, which have been developed taking into account the guidelines contained in the judgments of the European Courts, also meeting the challenges of the 21st century." - reads MEDEL's call of 25.11.2023.

You can read more here : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/4772-medel-wspiera-projekty-ustaw-przygotowane-przez-iustitie&source=gmail&ust=1704397643148000&usg=AOvVaw0euvVnuY-mliGj58vkmV6w">https://www.iustitia.pl/4772-medel-wspiera-projekty-ustaw-przygotowane-przez-iustitie.

Iustitia representatives in Naples and Amsterdam.

 On November 10, 2023, Judge Monika Frackowiak participated on behalf of MEDEL in the congress of the Magistratura Democratica association in Naples, presenting the activities of the Iustitia association over the past years.

On the same day, Iustitia board member Judge Dorota Zabludowska attended the congress of District Court judges in Amsterdam, where she conducted a workshop on the role of judges in protecting the rule of law. The task of the judges was to present possible actions in a situation where the various fuses of the state are turned off one by one. The workshop was conducted under the slogan: "fire drills" Everyone hopes that a fire will never happen, but it's good to know what to do if it does. Therefore, it is worthwhile to prepare, using the experience of others.

All the information on this subject at the link : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/79-informacje/4775-przedstawicielki-iustitii-w-neapolu-i-amsterdamie&source=gmail&ust=1704397643149000&usg=AOvVaw1Xa5pI4DYMLqzJwld6CpJA">https://www.iustitia.pl/79-informacje/4775-przedstawicielki-iustitii-w-neapolu-i-amsterdamie.

Judges of Iustitia on meeting in Warsaw, supported draft laws restoring the rule of law.

Iustitia Judges from all over Poland met on Saturday, November 25, 2023 to discuss how to speed up court proceedings, restore the rule of law and unlock funds from the National Reconstruction Plan.

More than 100 judges from all over Poland came to the meeting.

During the meeting, proposed legislative solutions were presented by:

- Judge Dr. Katarzyna Gajda-Roszczynialska University of Silesia,

- Judge Marcin Walasik Ph.D. Professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan,

- Judge Ryszard Rutkowski,

- Judge Krystian Markiewicz Ph.D. professor at the University of Silesia.

In the discussion at the meeting, the judges asked numerous questions and presented their evaluations.

During the meeting, the judges adopted a resolution calling on the Sejm, the Senate, the Council of Ministers and the President to "treat the situation in the judiciary as requiring urgent changes and agreement."

"The state of the judiciary is tragic, cases in the courts are taking up to 80 percent longer than eight years ago. The National Judicial Council is not independent. The result is a lack of money from the KPO and chaos - today it is not clear whether the verdict with which a citizen leaves court after several years is certain and unshakeable," the resolution argued.

The entire resolution and a report on the meeting can be found at : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/83-komunikaty-i-oswiadczenia/4771-obradujacy-w-warszawie-sedziowie-ssp-iustitia-poparli-projekt-naprawy-praworzadnosci-przygotowany-przez-stowarzyszenie&source=gmail&ust=1704397643149000&usg=AOvVaw1E9KTCAoUphN6z8NkhmsYw">https://www.iustitia.pl/83-komunikaty-i-oswiadczenia/4771-obradujacy-w-warszawie-sedziowie-ssp-iustitia-poparli-projekt-naprawy-praworzadnosci-przygotowany-przez-stowarzyszenie.

Iustitia members share their knowledge and experience in Europe.

 JUSTICE HAS TO BE A GLASS HOUSE - it has to be transparent - was the theme of the ERA conference,in which IUSTITIA Board member Dorota Zabludowska took part. Conference participants pointed out that justice must be as transparent as a glass house. Lawyers and the media have a responsibility to reliably report to the public on events concerning the administration of justice. It is important to respect the interests of the parties and the public's right to information. Judges should communicate their decisions to the parties to the proceedings in a clear and understandable way. Judge Dorota Zabludowska spoke on the panel on the rule of law. During the discussion, she stressed that independent media, Iustitia's news channels and civic media have proved to be media pillars for the defense of the rule of law in Poland. Dutch judge Kees Sterk, an honorary member of Iustitia, also participated in the panel.

On December 1, 2023, the Second Rule of Law Day was held, organized by the Spanish Association of Forum of Independent Judges - Foro Judicial Independiente. SSP Iustitia was represented by judges Karolina Rokita (Przemyśl Branch) and Łukasz Mrozek (Warsaw Branch). The judges presented the course of the judicial reform since 2015 and the effects of the erosion of the rule of law in Poland. They also presented the Association's activities, including educational, media and design activities. FJI President Judge Fernando Portillo Rodrigo presented Iustitia representatives with a commemorative plaque recognizing Polish judges for their fight for the rule of law in the EU.

You can read more about it at the link : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/79-informacje/4777-czlonkowie-iustitii-dziela-sie-swoja-wiedza-i-doswiadczeniami-w-europie&source=gmail&ust=1704397643149000&usg=AOvVaw2oG-sjUubr2vN-Od3JE5oN">https://www.iustitia.pl/79-informacje/4777-czlonkowie-iustitii-dziela-sie-swoja-wiedza-i-doswiadczeniami-w-europie.

Interim resolution of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on Poland's execution of ECtHR judgments.

The Committee presented its position resulting from the assessment of the implementation of ECtHR judgments in cases concerning reforms undermining the independence of the judiciary in Poland, which in particular led to: violation of the right to a court established by law, as the applicants' cases were heard by judges appointed after March 2018 in joint chambers of the Supreme Court in a flawed procedure involving the National Council of the Judiciary, which lacked independence, and the premature termination of the applicants' tenure as vice-presidents of the district court on the basis of temporary provisions (, without the possibility of judicial review.

He encouraged the Polish authorities to quickly develop measures to:

- restore the independence of the NCJ by introducing legislation guaranteeing the Polish judiciary the right to elect NCJ member judges;

- address the status of all judges appointed in flawed procedures involving the NCJ in the post-March 2018 composition and decisions made with their participation;

- Ensure effective judicial review of NCJ resolutions proposing judicial appointments to the President of the Republic, including Supreme Court judges, respecting also the suspensive effect of pending judicial review;

- Ensure that issues concerning respect for the right to a court established by law can be addressed without any restrictions or sanctions for applying the requirements of the Convention;

- ensure that presidents and vice presidents of courts are protected from arbitrary appeals, including through the introduction of judicial review.

The full text of the resolution is available at : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/4783-decyzje-komitetu-ministrow-rady-europy-w-sprawie-wykonywanie-wyrokow-europejskiego-trybunalu-praw-czlowieka&source=gmail&ust=1704397643149000&usg=AOvVaw3IyRQZWQiKA4a_bh57f-x7">https://www.iustitia.pl/4783-decyzje-komitetu-ministrow-rady-europy-w-sprawie-wykonywanie-wyrokow-europejskiego-trybunalu-praw-czlowieka.

The Polish state has failed in its obligation to protect same-sex unions.

On December 12, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled on the case of five Polish same-sex couples who filed a complaint against Poland at the ECHR in 2017. 

The Court ruled that there had been: a violation of Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case concerned the alleged lack of any form of legal recognition and protection available to same-sex couples in Poland. The Court found that the Polish state had failed in its duty to provide the applicants with a concrete legal framework providing for the recognition and protection of their same-sex relationships. This failure resulted in the applicants' inability to regulate fundamental aspects of their lives and violated their right to respect for private and family life.

A legal summary of the case will be available on HUDOC's judicial database.

You can find more by clicking here : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/4785-panstwo-polskie-nie-wywiazalo-sie-z-obowiazku-zapewnienia-ochrony-zwiazkow-jednoplciowych-etpcz-w-wyroku-w-sprawie-przybyszewska-i-inni&source=gmail&ust=1704397643149000&usg=AOvVaw1_aTcL6RX8tCxYozPSWn3y">https://www.iustitia.pl/4785-panstwo-polskie-nie-wywiazalo-sie-z-obowiazku-zapewnienia-ochrony-zwiazkow-jednoplciowych-etpcz-w-wyroku-w-sprawie-przybyszewska-i-inni.

The death of Judge Katarzyna Gonera.

      Supreme Court Judge Katarzyna Gonera passed away on December 15, 2023. She was a judge for 36 years, on the position of a judge of the Supreme Court since January 4, 2000. A member of the Association of Polish Judges "Iustitia", on its board in the period 1992-2009. From 2010 to 2014 she served on the National Council of the Judiciary. She participated in the work of the Team of Experts at the Association of Family Judges Pro Familia. Co-founder of the Association of Judges "Themis".

Meeting of the President of Iustitia with the Minister of Justice.

On December 15, 2023, a meeting was held between the President of SSP IUSTITIA Dr. Krystian Markiewic and Dr. Adam Bodnar, the newly appointed Minister of Justice.  

Krystian Markiewicz expressed his congratulations and wishes to Adam Bodnar on the occasion of assuming his position, while assuring him of the readiness of the Association of Polish Judges "Iustitia" to support - with knowledge and action - all efforts to create a modern judiciary, based on fair, efficient and stable courts, which Poland so badly needs.

The full content of the letter is available at : https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.iustitia.pl/4789-spotkanie-prezesa-stowarzyszenia-sedziow-polskich-iustitia-dr-hab-sedziego-krystiana-markiewicza-z-ministrem-sprawiedliwosci-dr-hab-adamem-bodnarem&source=gmail&ust=1704397643149000&usg=AOvVaw2ab46-I3_kDhibjStkSbiM">https://www.iustitia.pl/4789-spotkanie-prezesa-stowarzyszenia-sedziow-polskich-iustitia-dr-hab-sedziego-krystiana-markiewicza-z-ministrem-sprawiedliwosci-dr-hab-adamem-bodnarem.

               And that's all the news at the end of a memorable 2023. Perhaps already in the next one we will live to see free, independent courts. We firmly believe that together we will be able to build a modern and politically independent judiciary.  

               Dear friends, receive from us our sincerest wishes, a warm, peaceful, joyful and loving Christmas, and all the prosperity and fulfillment of dreams in service and family life in the New Year. Have a great time, rest soundly and safely, and see you and read in the New Year.

 Iustitia Information Network