On 20 May, Congress of Polish Lawyers took place in Katowice. The main topic on the agenda was the judiciary reform as well as the debate on the state of the rule of law in Poland. The congress was organised by the Association of Polish Judges “Iustitia”, the Supreme Bar Council and the National Council of Legal Advisers.
JUSTICE: Law and Justice continues to pursue various judicial reforms, in spite of the raging criticism from political, civil and judicial environments home and abroad. The reforms are in many places unconstitutional, but most of all, the system of checks and balances is being intentionally and systematically destroyed with judicial independence left undermined. The reforms pursued by the governing party concern the National Council for the Judiciary, Common Courts and the National School of Judiciary and the Public Prosecution.
Additionally, the fact that the Constitutional Tribunal has become subordinate political tool under strong governmental influence, the various disputes on constitutionality of the reforms are impossible to be solved in a normative way guaranteed by the Constitution.
This is best illustrated by the statement of the National Council of the Judiciary on the methods of response to the allegations of the General Prosecutor, which is as follows:
‘The following adjudicating panel was appointed for hearing case nr K 5/17: judge of the Constitutional Tribunal Michal Wronski (chairman), prof. Henryk Cioch, dr hab. Mariusz Muszynski (president) , the judge of the Constitutional Tribunal, Leon Kieres and prof Lech Morawski. This means that in adjudicating panel composed of five persons, there are three persons who were elected in the place of the lawfully elected judges of the Constitutional Tribunal (see sentence of the Constitutional Tribunal of 3 December 2015, initial K34/15, OTK ZU 11A/2015 pos. 185). For this reason, the National Judicial Council decided not to refer to the Constitutional Tribunal incorporating the aforementioned three persons, with the motion to include this panel to proceed in case K 5/17 and decided to assume and to publish the Council’s position against the allegations formulated by The Office of the General Prosecutor’.