The President of Poland promised to veto the scandalous law on the Supreme Court

Andrzej Duda said that he will veto the law on the Supreme Court and the National Council of Judicial Proceedings
Photo by Krzysztof Sitkowski / KPRP

The President of Poland said that he wants to improve these laws within the framework of the presidential initiative. They should be prepared within two months. This is stated in a message on the website of the President of Poland.

Duda noted that in the Polish constitutional tradition, the Attorney General had never had any control over the Supreme Court, never made a decision “overwhelmingly” about who could be a judge of the Supreme Court.

“It was also not said that the Prosecutor General will decide on the way and rules of the work and functioning of the Supreme Court by establishing rules,” Duda said.

“We have no tradition that the Attorney General could interfere in any way with the work of the Supreme Court.”

Therefore, Duda decided to appeal to the Sejm or veto laws on the Supreme Court and the National Council of Judicial Proceedings.

According to him, the changes must take place in such a way that there is a separation of the state and its citizens.

Duda said that after the adoption of the law on Friday held numerous consultations. “I spoke with lawyers, philosophers and politicians … I’m sorry that the draft law was not presented to me before being sent to the Seimas,” the president complained.

Recall last week the Polish Senate passed a law on the Supreme Court, which is aimed at reforming the country’s judicial system. This law was criticized by the European Commission and the US, only the Hungarian authorities supported it.

What changes the law on the Supreme Court of Poland

I. The key and most critical position is that on the day after the law enters into force, the current judges of the Armed Forces pass “into a state of rest”, except for those whom the president decides to leave (of those who will be submitted by the Minister of Justice).

The whole process will look like this. Sending for the rest of the judges of the Supreme Council will occur 30 days after the announcement of the law. The Minister of Justice submits to the new National Judicial Council a list of judges indicating who in which of the chambers should work. Further, the court council within 14 days makes a decision on each judge of the Armed Forces and passes it to the president. And the head of state himself makes a decision.

During the transition period, the staff of judges was increased from 44, as provided by law, to 56. There are now 84 judges in the Armed Forces.

II. The second change concerns the creation of a fifth chamber in the Supreme Court – Disciplinary. Its judges consider the cases of judges, prosecutors, lawyers and notaries (one of the edits removed from the list of bailiffs). The goal of the new chamber should be to raise ethical and moral standards in the judiciary.

The fact, in which chamber certain cases will be sent, should be provided for in the Rules of Procedure of the Armed Forces. Until now, the judges of the Supreme Court themselves have accepted it, and after the law comes into force, the president, but on the proposal of the Minister of Justice after consulting with the National Judicial Council.

Polish ombudsman Adam Bodnar warned the deputies before the third reading that the bill, together with the law on the National Judicial Council and the establishment of courts of general jurisdiction, deprives citizens of the right to an independent court.

III. The adopted law contains an amendment, without which President Andrzej Duda refused to sign it. Fifteen judges – members of the second assembly of the National Judicial Council parliament will elect 3/5 of the votes. This is the only provision that will come into force before the entry into force of the law – two weeks after publication.