Rule of law

Concern over Polish judge’s immunity

Who we’ve written to

President of the Republic of Poland and the first president of the Supreme Court of Poland.

We co-signed the second letter along with:

  • dean of the Warsaw Bar Association
  • president of the German Bar Association
  • dean of the Amsterdam Bar Association
  • president of the Flemish Bar Association

What's the issue

On 7 April 2020 we wrote to the president of the Republic of Poland to express our concern that the National Prosecution Office in Poland filed a motion to the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to waive Judge Igor Tuleya’s immunity.

According to the publicly available information, the National Prosecution Office motioned the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to do this in order to press criminal charges against Judge Tuleya.

On 8 June 2020, we wrote to the first president of the Supreme Court of Poland about Judge Igor Tuleya, who was facing criminal charges.

The criminal charges are that Judge Tuleya neglected his duties and overstepped his powers by allowing the hearing about possible crimes committed during the session of the lower chamber of parliament in December 2017 to be open to the public and recorded by journalists.

According to the prosecutor, the judge disclosed a secret of the investigation to unauthorised persons.

However, according to article 95b of the Polish Code of Criminal Procedure, the president of the court or the judge himself may decide on the openness of a hearing which is, in principle, closed to the public. Hence the claim of the prosecution office has no legal basis.

What we asked for

We asked that either:

  • the proceeding be suspended as long as the interim measures applied by the CJEU are in force
  • the case be heard by a different chamber of the Supreme Court

Timeline

December 2019 – amendments to the law adopted by parliament

6 February 2020 – we wrote to the Polish president about recent amendments to the law which could undermine judicial independence and the separation of powers

7 June 2020 – we wrote to the first president of the Supreme Court of Poland about Judge Igor Tuleya’s immunity being waived

8 June 2020 – we wrote to the first president of the Supreme Court of Poland to express concern that the National Prosecution Office in Poland filed a motion to the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to waive Judge Igor Tuleya’s immunity

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