Poland: defensive judge (neue-deutschland.de)

Foto: Imago images/ZUMAPress

»Oczywiście« – »Of course« she will appeal against the lifting of her immunity, explains judge Beata Morawiec. Why didn’t she come to Warsaw on Monday for the decision of the “Disciplinary Chamber” of the Supreme Court? “Because this chamber is not a court. Apart from that, I had to judge in Kraków. But that doesn’t interest this house with its dubious status. “

Dubious status – in an interview with the »Rzeczpospolita«, one of the most prominent judges in Poland ascribes this to the disciplinary chamber installed by the PiS administration in 2018. It was not the first time she had deliberated – but it was the first time that she had lifted a judge’s immunity. It does not hit just any judge and therefore it is to be understood as a signal: Morawiec, born in Oświęcim in 1964, is the chairwoman of the judges’ organization »Themis«, which repeatedly criticizes the »judicial reforms« of the PiS. In addition to the lifting of immunity, she was suspended from duty and her salaries were cut – it was “very likely” that she had committed corruption offenses. Allegedly incriminating material appeared in public media.

Justice minister and attorney general, in person Zbygniew Ziobro, are about to undermine their reputation, said Morawiec. The subject, who graduated from the Jagellion University in Kraków in 1987 and has been the court president since 2000, cannot be dealt with. In 2019, she successfully sued Ziobro for violating personal rights – an out-of-court settlement was reached. Morawiec, however, does not expect anything from the judicial institutions – perhaps a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights will help. The ECJ has long asked Poland to suspend the chamber’s proceedings – until it has been clarified how independent it is.