Two million court rulings could be cancelled in Poland
A July 2013 resolution by Polish Supreme Court could reportedly invalidate some two million court rulings passed in the last 16 years, the Polish media revealed, October 18.
“[The resolution means that] millions of court rulings may be endangered,” Polish Justice Minister Marek Biernacki told Polish daily Rzeczpospolita.
The July resolution pertains to judges transferred from one judicial district to another without a signature by the justice minister. Most of the transfers in question were undersigned by deputy ministers. In this case rulings by the judges pronounced at the new location may not be valid, according to the resolution. This pertains to rulings pronounced since 1997 when the current Constitution came into force.
Media articles indicate that convicts whose sentences are revoked could be released from prison without any additional procedures. They might even be able to sue the Polish state for unlawful incarceration.
In a bid to avoid the situation described above, Biernacki has asked the Supreme Court to pass a new resolution to regulate the cases of the invalid court rulings.
Estimates as to the number of court rulings in jeopardy differ. Judge Maciej Straczynski, the chairman of the Polish Judge Association Iustitia, claims the scale is much smaller than first thought.
According to Straczynski, the Supreme Court resolution does not refer to the 3,000 judges transferred since 1997 but to only 545 judges transferred this year, who ruled in a total of 200,000 cases. This is true provided that the judge transfers, which took place between 1997 – 2012 were executed based on an order signed by the justice minister.