Adam Bodnar presented a draft amendment to the Act on the National Council of the Judiciary. According to the new proposal of the Minister of Justice, judges, and not members of the Sejm, will select the members of the body.
On Friday, January 12, Minister of Justice Adam Bodnar presented a draft amendment to the Act on the National Council of the Judiciary. The proposal assumes a change in the method of selecting members of the body and the establishment of a Social Council.
Bodnar on the “thorough reform” of the National Council of the Judiciary
During a conference at the Ministry of Justice, the Prosecutor General emphasized that the functioning of the National Council of the Judiciary requires “a thorough reform.” He paid particular attention to the procedure for selecting members of the body. – Unfortunately, due to statutory changes that were adopted in 2018 and continued later, 15 judge-members of the National Council of the Judiciary are elected by the Sejm. This change led to numerous problems, Bodnar said.
He considered “the adoption of a comprehensive act on the National Council of the Judiciary” as one of the ways to solve them. – This bill comes down to the fact that judges themselves, with the support of the National Electoral Commission, will elect judges-members of the National Council of the Judiciary, that these elections will be transparent and available in such a way that the judicial community has its own representation – explained the Minister of Justice.
Changing the procedure for selecting judges
Members of the National Council of the Judiciary will be elected by participants in direct, secret elections organized by the National Electoral Commission. You have the right to nominate a candidate a specific group of judges, but also the Supreme Bar Council, the National Council of Legal Advisors and the National Council of Prosecutors. Bodies authorized to award academic degrees in the field of legal sciences and groups of at least two thousand citizens will also be able to propose a representative.
The bill also provides for the establishment of a Social Council at the National Council of the Judiciary, which will review candidates and “minimize the risk of political pressure on the courts.” – We very much hope that this act will be adopted, that it will then be signed by the president, and that – perhaps thanks to this – at least one part of the dispute over the rule of law in Poland will be ended – concluded Bodnar.