The polish association of magistrates IUSTITIA drew attention, on December 12, 2019, about a new proposed law regarding the judiciary in Poland which would ultimately subordinate the judiciary to the political power.
“It introduces disciplinary responsibility of judges for issuing decisions contrary to the expectations of political power. (…) It limits the freedom of speech and privacy of judges and introduces a surveillance mechanism, obliging them to disclose membership in associations, including judicial associations, their function in the foundation’s boards, and to provide information about running a portal, website or activity on internet portals, if they concern cases public. Finally, the proposed regulation eliminates judicial self-government by transferring all decisions regarding courts and judges to the presidents of the courts, who are appointed by the Minister of Justice, and by prohibiting judges from adopting resolutions criticizing the actions of other authorities“, IUSTITIA said in a press release.
Since its foundation in 2007, the position of the National Union of the Romanian Judges (NURJ) was to fight and to support the fight for an independent judiciary system safeguarded from any political interference, which is why we expresses complete solidarity with our colleagues from Poland in their fight for preserving the independence of the judiciary.
Court decisions must be pronounced by judges who are completely free from any pressure, regardless if it is from inside or outside the justice system. In order to shield the judges from such interferences or pressures, the presidents of the courts cannot interfere, directly or indirectly, with the judicial activity of the judges, nor with their careers, especially since the court presidents are politically appointed.
“The fundamental role of the judges is to guarantee the rights and liberties of every person, and this role cannot be fulfilled unless the judges are completely free and independent to decide in any case only according to the law and protected from any interference. The fight for the independence of the judiciary is a fight for the freedom of every person, which is why we support the fight for judicial independence of our colleagues from Poland“, said Dana Girbovan, president of the NURJ.
“The struggle of the Polish Judges is the struggle of all European judges. The Rule of Law is the common value on which the European Union was built. To defend it is to defend the future of Europe, be it in Poland or in any other country“, said Felipe Marquez, president of MEDEL.
The National Union of the Romanian Judges and IUSTITIA – the Polish Judges Association – are both members of MEDEL – Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés –, an European association that gathers 23 associations of judges and prosecutors from 16 different European Countries (members and non-members of the EU), representing more than 18.000 magistrates.