back to top

    The famous Juszczyszyn’s case. Did the former vice president of the court override his commission?

    The former Vice-president of the Olsztyn District Court may have exceeded his powers by issuing an order to reinstate Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn. In connection with this decision, explanatory actions were initiated,” Piotr Schab, the Disciplinary Ombudsman of Judges said. Krzysztof Krygielski has already lost his position in court.

    As informed in a press release of Judge Piotr Schab, posted on the website of the Disciplinary Ombudsman of Judges, Deputy Ombudsman Przemysław Radzik undertook and is carrying out explanatory actions in the case of a suspected disciplinary offence.


    The offence, it was added, consisted in the fact that on 20 December this year Judge Krzysztof Krygielski, as the Vice-president of the Olsztyn District Court, exceeded his powers in that, despite the validity of the Supreme Court’s resolution of 4 February 2020 suspending Judge Juszczyszyn from his duties, he issued orders admitting that judge to adjudicate in the Olsztyn District Court.


    As added, such action violated the provision defining the duty to act in accordance with the judicial oath, including the duty to uphold the law. Thus, in the opinion of the Disciplinary Ombudsman, it could constitute “acting to the detriment of the public interest in the form of the proper functioning of the administration of justice” and give rise to a suspicion of the commission of an offence of exceeding powers.


    Immediate removal


    As Vice-president of the District Court, Krygielski decided against Judge Juszczyzna after he filed another claim on December 20 to be allowed to rule. This was because the term of office of the previous president of the court, Maciej Nawacki, had come to an end, and that morning in the Olsztyn court it was not yet known whether he would be appointed for another term, while the other vice president was on leave.


    Judge Krygielski issued an order to allow Juszczyszyn, among other things, access to computer systems and to be included in the draw again using the electronic case designation system. “Mr Judge can begin his duties today,” he announced.


    Shortly thereafter, the Olsztyn court received information that Nawacki had been nominated for another four years as president of the Olsztyn court. Later that same day, he rescinded Vice President Krygielski’s earlier order.


    “This means that everything goes back to the way it was. We have further executed the resolution of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court (to suspend Juszczyszyn),” Nawacki said.


    A day later – on December 21 – it was reported that Judge Krygielski was dismissed by the Minister of Justice from his position as Vice President of the Olsztyn District Court with immediate effect.


    As the Disciplinary Ombudsman of Judges announced today, the initiated explanatory actions also concern the issue of justified suspicion of committing a disciplinary offence “consisting in breaching the dignity of the office by an unidentified judge of the District Court in Olsztyn on 20 December this year by exceeding his powers in the form of passing on official correspondence in the form of a letter from the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice dated 20 December this year.”


    The famous case of Judge Juszczyszyn


    Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn was validly suspended by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court on 4 February 2020 in connection with disciplinary proceedings against him. He was removed from adjudication because, while hearing an appeal in a civil case, he found it necessary to decide whether a judge nominated by the current National Judicial Council was qualified to adjudicate in the first instance. In his ruling, he ordered the Chancellery of the Sejm to present, among other things, lists of support for candidates to the National Council of the Judiciary of Poland.


    More in section