Europe News

Statement on the suspension of Judge Joanna Hetnarowicz Sikora


Despite the series of judgments delivered both by the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union, explicitly condemning systematic undermining of judicial independence by politicians, we are witnessing another outrageous attack of Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro against a Polish judge.

Zbigniew Ziobro (who is at the same time Prosecutor General) ordered an immediate stop of professional activities of Joanna Hetnarowicz‑Sikora, a member of the board of Iustitia.

The suspension has been executed in an unprecedented way, the decision was delivered while she was performing her judicial duties in a courtroom.

The reason for such order was her application of ECHR and ECJ verdicts, excluding (on a party’s request) a so called “neo – judge” from the panel. The excluded judge has been appointed in a procedure questioned by both ECHR and ECJ. 

Joanna Hetnarowicz‑Sikora is already the eighth judge in Poland suspended only for applying European law. This fact and its timing clearly show that the Polish government, instead of applying European Tribunal’s verdicts and European Commission’s recommendations, decided to amplify the legal crisis in Poland, violating all fundamental European standards.

MEDEL expresses its full solidarity with Judge Joanna Hetnarowicz-Sikora and all the other illegally suspended Polish judges.

10 February 2022



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