Attacks on Disciplinary Chamber due to loss of sense of impunity: minister

The actions of judges who do not recognise the Disciplinary Chamber of Poland’s Supreme Court (SN) and attack it derives from the fact that they have lost a sense of impunity, said Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro on Monday.

During the press conference, Mr Ziobro recalled that the Chamber was established to apply sanctions to judges who broke the law. He pointed out that this specific chamber was being most heavily attacked by a part of the judicial community, and that “it is symptomatic” of the decreasing gap between those who are “so invulnerable to the law” and regular citizens.

“Thanks to the work of the Disciplinary Chamber, that difference is getting smaller. Within the law, there should not be double standards,” Mr Ziobro said.

According to the Act, the Disciplinary Chamber is a disciplinary court of first and second instance for judges of the Supreme Court, as well as the appeal instance in cases of district and regional courts. It is one of the four Chambers of the SN, along with the Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs, Civil and Criminal chambers.

“Leaving child in window of life is not an abandonment’

The Justice Minister also instructed prosecutors not to launch penal proceedings with regard to situations in which women leave their newborn babies in the so-called windows of life.

“Leaving a child in the window of life is not an act of abandonment; mothers should not feel persecuted,” Mr Ziobro said, pointing out that when investigations were launched into such cases this year, they were later overexposed by the media”.

“It may discourage mothers in dire situations from deciding to leave their babies in windows of life, and may drive them to commit acts of desperation,” he said.

The first window of life in Poland was opened in 2006 in Kraków, southern Poland. Currently, there are 61 windows of life operational under Caritas Polska, in which, almost 100 children have been left.