Rule of law

Concern over waiving of Polish judge’s immunity

Who we wrote to

The president of the Republic of Poland.

What’s the issue

The National Prosecution Office in Poland has filed a motion to the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to waive the immunity of Judge Igor Tuleya. This could potentially lead to criminal prosecutions against him and set a precedent for actions taken against other judges.

Widespread international concern has been expressed about the lack of independence of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court.

We’ve been informed that the reason for this motion by the National Prosecution Office is that Judge Tuleya ordered an investigation into procedural irregularities that allegedly took place during a session of the lower chamber of parliament in December 2017.

Judge Tuleya allegedly allowed reporters to attend the hearing or otherwise allowed for publication of his judicial decision. We’re concerned that measures taken by the Polish government are not limited to legislative changes, but also include direct repressive actions against judges and prosecutors.

What we asked for

We respectfully urged the relevant authorities to:

  • immediately and unconditionally withdraw the motion filed to waive the immunity of Judge Tuleya
  • reject the motion in line with international standards on judicial independence and Poland’s international legal obligation to respect and guarantee the right to a fair trial
  • safeguard judges’ judicial independence so that they can carry out their profession without intimidation, harassment or fear of reprisalstake no further actions, of whatever nature, that would directly or indirectly undermine the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Poland

Timeline

February 2020 – we wrote to the Polish president about our concerns that legislative amendments undermined judicial independence and the separation of powers