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    Judge Juszczyszyn suspended by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court

    The continuing story of judicial reform in Poland took another turn today. The disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court suspended a judge from the city of Olsztyn and imposed a 40% cut in salary. The judge had persistently demanded copies of the enclosures to the applications made by candidates for judicial office to the National Council of the Judiciary. This is a violation of the law of 12th May 2011 which provides that only applications themselves, and not the enclosures, are to be made available.


    Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn has been suspended with a 40% pay cut. This is the decision of the appellate court of the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court. In the sentence the court pointed out that the suspended judge endangers the good name of both the judiciary branch and the state treasury. The deputy spokesman for the disciplinary chamber described actions of the suspended judge as a performance of a celebrity who declares a war against his own country. The opposition does not agree with this opinion and some of them maintain that the Disciplinary Chamber should not take action. According to them it is illegal.

    “This matter in fact shows as through a magnifying glass what is the essence of this controversy, either demand an adequate punishment for judges who violate the law or are against the judicial ethics, or do not punish. In other words, when we see a violation committed by a judge, the question is whether to make them take  responsibility or hide them behind judicial immunity”, commented Waldemar Budka, an MP of the Law and Justice party.

    Paweł Juszczyszyn’s defenders claim that the verdict is not valid because the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court was created by the new National Council of the Judiciary, which was founded by judges with unknown supporters when they filed their applications. Everything goes back to the National Council of the Judiciary Act of May 12, 2011, an act which was voted in by the parliament when the opposition had the majority. That act states clearly that the applications are to be public except the enclosures, which are confidential. Some of the judges fight for disclosure of who gave referrals to the candidates. The suspended judge Juszczyszyn is one of them. His supporters say that he is going to ignore the verdict and will report to work tomorrow morning. The Chief Justice of the Olsztyn court says that the verdict of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court will be respected and is fully valid. One thing is certain, tomorrow morning cameras will be waiting at the court entrance in Olsztyn.



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