March 22, 2019 was a breakthrough day for the Polish judiciary. On this day the government has indeed crossed the Rubicon River, shatteringly violating the rule of law and breeching the sphere of tie judicial independence of the judge. Alina Czubieniak the judge of the Regional Court (second level of the three level system of the common courts in Poland) in Gorzów Wlkp was convicted in the disciplinary proceeding by the judges of the new Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court for issuing the correct, consistent with the Constitution and the just judgment.
Judge A. Brodniak - a Disciplinary Spokesperson at the Court of Appeal in Szczecin (third level of the three level system of the common courts in Poland) and the Minister of Justice put the judge Alina Czubieniak into two specific disciplinary allegations.
The first objection is that she ruled that the suspect should have a lawyer since the first hearing during the investigation held by tje prosecutor. The spokesperson and the Minister argued that the provisions of the criminal proceedings allow the defender to be appointed only in the judicial and not the investigation.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor got to know that the suspect was intellectually disabled, he could not write and read, it was clear from the psychiatrist's certificate that he was mentally ill. Nevertheless, the prosecutor continued his activities, handed the undecided read the documents and instructions in writing. The defendant was established only when the District Court in Międzyrzecz (first level of the three level system of the common courts in Poland) ruled on pre-trial detention. The lawyer lodged a complaint against the detention order and the case went to the Regional Court in Gorzów Wlkp. Judge A. Czubieniak, guided by the established case law, judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the Constitution, issued the only possible and correct ruling- quashing the detention until further notice recognition because the fundamental right to defend a man who was mentally ill was violated. It should be noted that according to the Polish Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) appointing a lawyer is mandatory in any case that the defendant may be mentally ill.
The second complaint was based on the fact that when the judge overruled the detention order and remanded the case to the District Court for reconsideration, there was a threat to the injured party of the 9-year-old girl. This charge was not proved at all by the Disciplinary Spokesman and the Minister. The victim and the perpetrator did not know each other, did not live in a neighborhood, everyone was under the protection of their family. After the arrest and the case was re-examined in the District Court, the prosecutor took actions in the case. After 15 days, the perpetrator was arrested again, but retaining his rights of defense and the possibility of treatment, which was required by the state of health. Nothing happened to anyone.
The judgment over Judge Alina Czubieniak, released by the Supreme Court Disciplinary Chamber, has been widely criticized, because it interferes deeply with the essence of the judge's work, that is, independent, pressure-free decision-making according to the law.
Just after the Supreme Court judgment and the media storm, the complainant Spokesman and Minister of Justice, the nominee of Minister Z. Ziobro judge Piotr Schab the Disciplinary Spokesman of the Common Courts rushed with help. In his announcement of March 27, 2019 he claimed, that the Judge A. Czubieniak deprived the suspect's right of defense, because she did not provide him and his lawyer with participation in the proceedings of the District Court in pending proceedings for the application of pre-trial detention. In the opinion of the disciplinary spokesman, Judge A. Czubieniak obviously and grossly violated the provisions of art. 249 § 3 CPC.
more: http://rzecznik.gov.pl/2019/03/komunikat-rzecznika-dyscyplinarnego-sedzie-piotra-schaba-w-zwiazku-zaddonies-medialnymi-w-sprawie-sedzi-aliny-czubieniak-prowadzacymi- disinformation-to-the-public/
The spokesman Piotr Schab after the conviction in the second instance prepared in the communique completely new disciplinary charges against the judge. They are based on false assertions and, intentionally or not, on a completely misreading of the provisions. Not only did he present in the communication allegations that were not the subject of the case, he still tries to assign duties to the judge, which he was not obliged to perform as a court of appeal.
The suspect is interrogated before the application of pre-trial detention. The provision of art. 249 § 3 CPC concerns only the court applying the arrest, in this case the District Court in Międzyrzecz. This Court was obligated hear the suspect and ensure attendance of his counsel. The Regional Court in Gorzów Wielkopolski only checked the legitimacy and legality of pre-trial detention as part of the lawyer's complaint and had no obligation to hear the defendant.
In the appeal proceedings before the Regional Court in Gorzów Wielkopolski held by judge A. Czubieniak, the suspect was already represented by a public defender, so he was not deprived of the right to defense. What is more, the Court accepted the appeal of the defendant's defender, so the defense proved to be effective.
Only the prosecutor and the defender, not the suspect (Article 249§ 5 CPC) participate in the hearing of the court hearing the appeal against the order of pre-trial detention. The defender was notified of the date of the Court session, and his participation in the meeting was not mandatory. In these circumstances, the statement of a Spokesperson on the violation of the rights of defense of the suspect by the Regional Court in Gorzów Wlkp appears to be completely unfounded - the content of the provisions governing the parties' participation in the appeal court session is unambiguous. Judge A. Czubieniak, by issuing the judgment, took care of human rights protection, and now the Spokesman P. Schab should not be not trying to change reality by giving facts that are untrue.
The Disciplinary Spokesperson from Minister`s nomination does not rectify anything by means of his message, he does not explain it and he gives public opinion untrue information, new "accusations" to judges who did not appear in the course of disciplinary proceedings.
P. Schab joined the Supreme Court disciplinary proceeding and the judge announced an appeal against the verdict. It may be an attempt to discredit the judges, and also to "add" time arguments for an unfounded conviction. Such behavior of the prosecutor in disciplinary proceedings is inappropriate and constitutes an unacceptable stress. The pro-government right-wing media are also using it propagating propaganda. The Spokesman, with the Minister of Justice behind him, a full range of ruling powers, has yet to attempt non-contentious forms of pressure in the disciplinary case.
The case of judge Alina Czubieniak and punishing her for a proper ruling, which may not please the prosecutor or the Minister of Justice, is a clear example of violation of the principle of independence of judiciary, which will certainly convince Europe and the Court of Justice about accusations against the Polish government for breaking legal standards. Citizens should be able to reflect on whether they want judgments dependent on the Minister of Justice in their own affairs.