Proceedings against a Polish judge: the ECHR questions Warsaw

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced on Wednesday April 20 that it had questioned the Polish government on the lifting of the judicial immunity of a reputable judge, allowed by the highly controversial reforms of the Polish judicial system.

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The Court communicated to the Polish Government the case“concerning the immunity of Wlodzimierz Wróbel”and asked him to submit his observations in this regard“, indicates the ECHR in a press release. Wlodzimierz Wróbel, judge in the Criminal Division of the Polish Supreme Court since 2011, “is a well-known judge and also an academic committed to the defense of the rule of law in Poland“, note the European magistrates.

They also note that in 2020 he was “co-rapporteurof a Polish Supreme Court resolution stating that “the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court was not an “independent tribunal established by law”“, as the ECHR itself judged, in the same terms, in July 2021. a supposed error of law committed in a file, further specifies the ECHR.

Arm wrestling between Poland and various European institutions

Wlodzimierz Wróbel appealed to the ECHR, the judicial body of the Council of Europe sitting in Strasbourg, in the east of France, to challenge this procedure. He believes he is being targeted for the criticisms he has made of the judicial reforms implemented by the conservative nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party in power in Poland. He also challenges the legality of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, seized in this case. This chamber, reformed by the PiS, is responsible for supervising judges, including those of the Supreme Court. It can lift their immunity to expose them to criminal prosecution or salary cuts and is at the heart of a showdown between Poland and various European institutions.

For its part, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which oversees the application of Community law within the 27 Member States, demanded, in a decision rendered on July 14, 2021, the cessation of activities. of this Polish disciplinary chamber, deploring its lack of impartiality and independence with regard to political power. The decision was not implemented by Warsaw, which was given a penalty of one million euros per day as long as this chamber continues to operate.

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