The Disciplinary Chamber suspends Justice Paweł Juszczyszyn from his post and reduces his renumeration
(to prepare this information fragments from the text of English version of IUSTITIA’S report “Justice under pressure” were being utilized; full version of the report is going to appear in print in February 2020)
Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn is a judge of the District Court in Olsztyn, who by virtue of the decision of the Minister of Justice was delegated to adjudicate in the District Court in Olsztyn, where, among other things, he considered appeals against decisions issued by district courts.
During the examination of the appeal against the ruling in one of the cases (IX Ca 1302/19), Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn decided to examine the legal status of the judge who issued the ruling in the first instance. To this end, he asked the Head of the Chancellery of the Sejm to present the originals or officially certified copies of documents in the form of applications submitted to the Chancellery of the Sejm (...) of candidates and lists of citizens and lists of judges supporting the candidates to the National Council of the Judiciary, subsequently elected to the National Council of the Judiciary by virtue of the resolution of the Sejm of 6 March 2018. (M.P. item 276). In addition, Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn asked the Head of the Chancellery of the Sejm to present the originals or officially certified copies of documents in the form of statements by citizens or judges about the withdrawal of support for these candidates. According to the judge's decision, the aforementioned documents should be sent to the Regional Court in Olsztyn and attached to the case file registered under case number IX Ca 1302/19 upr within one week of delivery to the Chancellery of the Sejm of a copy of the order under pain of a fine in the event of an unjustified refusal to provide access to all requested documents. The said documents were to be used by Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn to assess, among other things, the legal status of the body acting as the National Council of the Judiciary in terms of meeting the criteria indicated in the judgment of the CJEU of 19 November 2019 in the joint A.K. cases. (C-585/18), CP (C-624/18) and DO (C-625/18). Thus, in applying for the above-mentioned documents to the Chancellery of the Sejm, Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn acted on the basis and within the limits of the law, applying the CJEU judgment of 19 November 2019, which he was obliged to do .
It’s worth noticing fact that Justice Paweł Juszczyszyn was the first Polish judge to take responsibility for the implementation of the CJEU judgment of 19 November 2019, which was met with the immediate reaction of the closed disciplinary and official system created by the politicians in power in Poland, which from the very beginning had one goal - to take control of the courts. First, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, Michał Wójcik, publicly threatened, on TV, judge Paweł Juszczyszyn with disciplinary proceedings. Later, the Minister of Justice immediately dismissed judge Paweł Juszczyszyn from his delegation to the District Court without any substantial justification, which is de facto his demotion.prepared by Polish Judges Association IUSTITIA
On 28.11.2019, the deputy disciplinary prosecutor of judges of common courts, Michał Lasota, initiated disciplinary proceedings against judge Paweł Juszczyszyn, accusing him of committing an offence of abuse of power. In the opinion of the deputy disciplinary prosecutor, Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn, demanding documents from the Chancellery of the Sejm in order to assess the status of the new National Council of the Judiciary, exceeded his powers by granting himself the competence to assess the correctness, including legality, of the election of members of the National Council of the Judiciary and, consequently, by granting himself the competence to assess the decision of the President of Poland to appoint a judge. In addition, the deputy disciplinary prosecutor for common court judges accused Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn of presenting to the media his own assessment of the situation consisting in his delegation to the Regional Court in Olsztyn and his removal from that delegation. Finally, the deputy disciplinary prosecutor accused Judge Pawel Juszczyszyn of stating untruthful facts in his requests for exclusion from participation in two other criminal proceedings.
In addition, the President of the District Court in Olsztyn, Maciej Nawacki, and at the same time a member of the body acting as the National Council of the Judiciary, whose status Justice Juszczyszyn wanted to examine, ordered an immediate interruption of Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn's official activities.
And so the District Court in Olsztyn has suspended judge Paweł Juszczyszyn from presiding in court for one month. The decision was made by Maciej Nawacki - a member of the new National Council of the Judiciary.
At the same time, the government media and the government-beneficial media started a media campaign to present Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn in the worst possible light in the public perception. Media began publishing information about his private life, past verdicts, and even a speeding ticket. He was accused of being a reckless driver, a greedy ex-husband and that he had falsified documents.
Justice Paweł Juszczyszyn and his defenders challenged the decision by which Justice Juszczyszyn was to be suspended.
December 23rd 2019, Monday, The Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Council overruled the decision of the regional court to suspend Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn. The Supreme Court Disciplinary Chamber decided that Judge Juszczyszyn, suspended for questioning the ruling party's judicial reforms, could return to work. Judge Adam Roch of the Supreme Court's disciplinary chamber told a session that according to the Supreme Court there were no grounds to keep Judge Juszczyszyn suspended.
However, the decision mentioned above was challenged by the Deputy Disciplinary Prosecutor of Judges of Common Courts Judge Przemysław Radzik.
Today, February 4th 2020, the second instance of the Disciplinary Chamber decided to change the decision of the first instance and suspended Justice Paweł Juszczyszyn from his post with the reduction of his remuneration by 40% (he will get 60% of his salary as long as disciplinary proceedings are ongoing).
It’s worth mentioning that as soon as Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn had come back to work in January 2020, he kept staying consequently the course on demanding the Head of the Chancellery of the Sejm to present the originals or officially certified copies of documents in the form of statements by citizens or judges about the withdrawal of support for the candidates to the National Council of the Judiciary. He even decided to conduct the visual inspection of the lists in the Chancellery of the Sejm but he was refused of access to these documents when he finally arrived to the Sejm.