Poland’s president Andrzej Duda said during the annual public seating of the General Assembly of Constitutional Court Judges that he made the decision to amend the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court law according to the constitution.
According to the president, he made the decision “according to constitutional provisions”. The judges and the chief justice, whom he retired, may now return to office.
“Just like the Sejm [Lower House] and the Senate [Upper House], I decided that [the CJEU ruling] needs to be executed regardless of the discussions on whether such a ruling should have or could have been made by the CJEU, and whether this ruling exceeds the treaty competencies of the CJEU while stepping into the organisation of the judiciary that is an internal matter of each member state alone,” stressed president Duda.
The president also spared no words of critique with regard to the behavior of judges who returned to the Supreme Court following the CJEU’s decision to implement provisional measures, deeming that the CJEU’s action reinstated them as active judges. Moreover, during that time the said judges were issuing internal acts and rulings.
“Whoever knows Polish law, especially the constitution, and knows the effective rules, has little doubt that such action for a judge’s part is an unquestionable and unambiguous violation of the constitution,” said president Duda.
According to the president, when “significant people in the judiciary … overtly violate the effective law and constitutional provisions and disregard the binding legislation, then we are dealing with anarchy by the representatives of the judiciary,” stressed the president, adding that this is a situation when “a given group of the judicial elite deems itself unpunishable and unbound by the Polish law only because it doesn’t like a particular law,” said the president.
The Lower House passed the Supreme Court act overhaul on November 21, two days later it was passed by the Senate and the president signed it on December 17. The overhaul refers to the Supreme Court act entered into force in April 2018. According to the overhaul, a judge who was retired because he or she has reached the age of 65 can now return to the office held on April 3, 2018, on the day of the amendment’s entry into force. Moreover, his tenure is considered uninterrupted.