Resolution of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia of 30 August 2021 concerning the Justice Fund (Fundusz Sprawiedliwości).
The Board of the Polish Judges Association Iustitia draws the attention of the international public opinion to the numerous irregularities in spending the funds transferred in 2017 to the disposal of the Minister of Justice within the so-called Justice Fund designed for supporting the victims of crimes. These irregularities have been indicated in the information of the Supreme Control Chamber/Najwyższa Izba Kontroli (report of 2018 and information of 2021). Funds from the Justice Fund have been spent among others to support the special forces (25 million PLN for the Central Anticorruption Office in 2017) in connection with the elections in Rzeszów in 2021 where the Viceminister of Justice Marcin Warchoł (1.2 million PLN for the Voluntary Fire Brigades) as well as for the local governments that adopted the resolutions of „zones free of LGBT ideology” (250 thousand PLN for the Voluntary Fire Brigade in each community). The information of the Supreme Control Chamber on the report of 2021 indicates that tens of millions of PLN from the Fund have been spent practically freely and without proper control.
We remind that the Fund consists of payments from persons sentenced for committing a crime. For example, a person sentenced for driving under the influence of alcohol has to pay at least 5 thousand PLN.
The Association states that the Justice Fund in its current shape does not fulfill its tasks and has become the personal financial reservoir at the disposal of the political party that is in control of the Ministry of Justice. The courts should have the possibility to adjudicate payments for chosen public benefit organization fulfilling tasks connected with supporting victims of crimes.
We point out that it was the Ministry of Justice that for six years has developed projects of bills destroying the independence of the Polish judiciary and the rule of law in Poland and the very Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro has many times publicly expressed his antipathy for the courts and judges as representatives of the third power independent of the remaining powers that are a monolith in Poland.
It is the Association’s opinion that in the light of the above circumstances further transfer of junds to the uncontrolled disposal of the Minister of Justice and the Polish government can lead to final distruction of the democratic mechanisms in our country, and consequently to actual elimination of Poland from the circle of European values.