List of judges appointed by communist regime in Poland published

A list of 746 active judges appointed by the Polish Council of State - an organ of executive power of the communist Polish People’s Republic (PRL) times - was published by Kamil Zaradkiewicz, the judge of the Civil Chamber of Poland's Supreme Court (SN) on Friday.

Disciplinary Chamber is not a legal court: Supreme Court

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Apart from the names, the list includes information about specific courts those judges adjudicate in, as well as dates when they received nomination.

Mr Zaradkiewicz wrote that he requested that the Supreme Court share the list with him under the open access to public information act on Tuesday.

“Overall, 746 judges adjudicating today in various courts were appointed by the totalitarian communist authorities, pledging loyalty to that state and safeguarding the rule of communist law,” he wrote on his Facebook profile.

Over 6,000 “illegally appointed” judges?

In November, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the National Judiciary Council (KRS) might submit requests with recommendations of KRS candidates to the Polish President, assuming that the body is adequately independent from the legislature, executive, and the President himself.

According to the deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta, the publication of the list presents the actions of Paweł Juszczyszyn and other judges with regard to the ECJ ruling in another light.

“The path the District Court in Olsztyn and some other judges took by their actions may lead to the conclusion that the ECJ urges Poland to carry out full decommunisation of the country’s courts,” he said.

Polish govt expresses concern over some judges ‘manipulating ECJ ruling’

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Thursday’s ruling by Poland’s Supreme Court (SN) challenges the legitimacy of the Disciplinary Chamber of the SN as a judicial body and deems the KRS not to be independent of the legislative and executive branches. The judges making the ruling also felt that the KRS has selected members of the disciplinary chamber who “are strongly associated with the legislative or executive”.

Mr Kaleta referred to the Constitutional Court (TK) ruling from June 2017, in which it was stated that the then applicable from 2000 provisions on the KRS which determined the way of appointing judges were unconstitutional.

"Apart from 746 judges who adjudicate on the basis of the appointment by the Council of State of the Polish People's Republic, we currently have over 5,000 judges who were appointed - as it was stated in the ruling - "by the unconstitutionally formed National Judiciary Council. According to the logic of some of the judges, there are over 6,000 judges who apparently are not judges," he said.

In his opinion, Paweł Juszczyszyn and others who question the status of these judges strive for legal chaos. Mr Kaleta called on them not to manipulate rulings of the ECJ and the Labor Law Chamber. In his opinion, their actions may be viewed as “an attempt to give the ECJ competences in matters which were never meant to be dealt with by the EU entities”.

Click here to see the list.

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