Influential Polish judicial body needs reform: justice minister
PR dla Zagranicy
An influential Polish judicial body’s refusal to appoint candidates proposed by the justice minister for assistant judges shows it needs to be reformed, Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro has said.
Justice Minister and Prosecutor-General Zbigniew Ziobro (centre) speaks at a news conference in Warsaw on Monday. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański
He spoke after Poland’s National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) on Monday announced it had rejected 265 candidates for assessors, or assistant judges, proposed by the justice minister.
On Monday evening, a spokesman for the National Council of the Judiciary, Waldemar Żurek, said the council had decided not to appoint candidates named on a list sent in by the justice minister.
"Effective opposition was expressed against all 265 candidates," Żurek said, adding that the candidates did not meet “statutory criteria.”
Commenting on the announcement later in the day, Ziobro said: "Today the KRS showed that it is unreformable.”
He added that the council “cynically” showed that the interests of the judicial community “are more important than the interests of the country’s justice administration system" as a whole.
Ziobro also argued that the KRS’s decision "blocked youthful vigour and professionalism from entering Polish courts."
"I trust that this situation is only temporary," Ziobro said.
According to the KRS, regulations passed this year under which the justice minister names assistant judges are against the principle of separation of powers.
Ziobro said he hoped ongoing talks on a presidential proposal to reorganise the National Council of the Judiciary would enable a profound reform of the body, which reviews and assesses candidates for judges.