– Pragati Goyal
Historical background (Poland Judges)
The judges in Poland enjoy the independent right to give their decisions. But due to the selection of judges in an illegitimate way, due to which it loses its justice system. In 2019, the bill was rushed by the Sejm, where law and justice have a majority and the Senate sent it back to Sejm. On 5 December 2019, one of the chambers of the supreme court said that the national court of justice is not an independent body and disciplinary chamber is not a court. But on the contrary, in January 2020 other chamber of Supreme Court said that there is a need to resolve the legal discrepancy.
Current Issue (Poland Judges)
The legislation passes the new bill on 23 January 2020 that the politicians can now fire the judges if they criticize their decisions. This bill was passed in the lower house of parliament by 234 votes to 211 and now it is required to be signed by the president. Under this bill the judges are appointed by the parliament and if any judge who criticizes the decision by the parliament would lead to being dismissal, or fined.
The legislation also restraints the judges from engaging in any public activity that could be seen as politically motivated and prevents them from the formation of independent judicial bodies. Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said there is a need for a law that stops the judges questioning the status of other newly appointed judges and to prevent chaos in Poland. By this Poland is triggered by EU reactions by losing its voting right under article 7 of the EU treaty. The European Union said that in 2004 when Poland joins the EU, Poland’s government continues to defy the laws and standards. Some of the European legal scholars said that the developments threaten the entire EU legal system.
Question in law:
The question arises at the judicial system of Poland and if we focus on the new bill which seems to be illegitimate itself because this would bind the judges totally, and the illegitimate bills would be passed even they want to criticize. And no country would invest in such a country where the judicial system is itself binding. Many people including the lawyers and judges protest against the new and demanding reinstatement of one judge who was suspended to questioned the appointment of a new judge by the president.Mr. Juszczyszyn who was dismissed appeared at the protest in Warsaw and told the crowd: “I call on my fellow judges: don’t let yourselves be intimidated, do be independent and brave.”The group of judges said that the Law and Justice Party is unfairly disciplining judges that oppose changes to the judiciary and the opposition called the legislation a ‘gagging bill’.
The European Union has blamed the government for threatening to undermine principals including the rule of law and judicial independence. Many critics said that this bill would lead to anarchy in Poland and due to loss of independence of the court would lead to an unfair trial.
The protest by the lawyers and judges is relevant and the criticism of other legal officers and the EU is also relevant. If the government or any other official body believes that the appointment of judges is illegitimate then they can resolve the issue by appointing some authorities but the bill allows the politicians to fire the judges for questioning is not seems to be legitimate in all the aspects in Poland. It is the duty of every judge to verify all the facts during passing any new bill but if that would not happen then it will definitely lead to irrelevant, unnecessary and biased decisions. The purpose of this bill was to prevent corruption but due to the inefficiency of the bill, it will definitely lead to corruption in Poland. Still, we can’t measure its consequences, now it has to be observed that what would be the outcome of this bill or the protestors make the government agree to take back the bill.