The Warsaw Network
Measurable justice. Judicial reform project
22.03.2018

The Union of Enterpreneurs and Employers and the Warsaw Enterprise Institute as part of the project under the title “Agenda Poland” present their joint proposal for systemic reforms of the state. This time, they focus on issues related to justice, which have been one of the hottest topics in the Polish public debate for more than a year.

The report “Measurable Justice – proposal of judiciary reform” supplements and eTribunal, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the National Council of the Judiciary. “The existence of many institutions, including those which have become source of a heated political conflict, is not indn the dimension of changes related to personnel, which was the main feature of the recent changes introduced by the Law and Justice government,” says Maciej Letkiewicz, co-author of the report.

The report postulates, among others, liquidation of the Constitutional Tribunal, the State Tribunal, the Supreme Administrative Court, and the National Council of the Judiciary. “The existence of many institutions, including those which have become source of a heated political conflict, is not indispensable in a democratic state of law. All common courts and the Supreme Court in individual cases ought to protect the Constitution, so there is no need for a special constitutional court. Administrative matters can be adjudicated by common courts. The case of the Tribunal of State is similar, and for years this has been a de facto dead institution. An analogous fate should await the National Council of the Judiciary and the exclusive competence to appoint judges should be obtained by the President,” adds Kamil Rybikowski, expert on behalf of WEI.

The authors of the study propose that the only special court to remain should be the Supreme Court, composed of 44 judges elected for life by the President. The first Supreme Court would be elected in a general election. Elected would also be the judges of peace, who would settle in the smallest civil cases and misdemeanour cases. The reason for their appointment would be to offload common courts. Common courts would have to restructured and reorganised, and they would also become two-step bodies. Today’s division into district, regional and appeal courts would be replaced by a division into Courts of first instance and Courts of Second Instance.

The report also provides for many facilitations for participants in court proceedings. A far-reaching simplification of the company registration process by transferring it to the administration and managing it through on-line platforms, enabling a notary to obtain a payment order to ensure a much greater effectiveness of debt enforcement or the introduction of an electronic delivery system, is proposed. The authors emphasise that court procedures must be aimed at increasing the speed and efficiency of court proceedings. “The most common objection to the Polish judiciary is the excessive length of proceedings. We offer a number of solutions that will measurably improve this state of affairs. Even the most desirable personnel changes, without systemic changes, will not improve the quality of the judiciary,” stated Tomasz Wróblewski at the end of the conference.