Pursuant to the Act on the Supreme Court of 8 December 2017 there have been made changes to the disciplinary liability of judges – The Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court was established (article 27 of the aforementioned act). It is specialized in this field, and its competences cover almost exclusively disciplinary cases of judges and attorneys-at-law, legal advisers, prosecutors, notaries and bailiffs.
At the outset, it should be clearly indicated that the legal solutions existing in Poland regarding disciplinary proceedings against judges and representatives of other legal professions are fully compliant with the Polish Constitution. They also guarantee the independence of adjudicating persons in the above-mentioned cases.
Disciplinary courts, mentioned in Art. 110 paragraph 1 of the Act of 27 July 2001 – Law on Common Courts Organisation (Dz. U. /Journal of Laws/ of 2020 item 365 as amended), are adjudicating disciplinary cases concerning judges of common courts in Poland. These disciplinary courts consist of the disciplinary courts at the courts of appeal and the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. In accordance with article 110a of the Law on Common Courts Organisation, common court judges adjudicate in disciplinary courts at the courts of appeal, while judges of the Supreme Court are judges of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. Disciplinary court judges enjoy all constitutional and statutory guarantees regarding judges, including those related to their independence and autonomy. Therefore, according to Art. 178 sec. 1 of the Act of April 2, 1997 – the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, in the exercise of their office, disciplinary court judges are independent and subject only to the Constitution and statutes. This regulation ensures that the disciplinary judiciary is independent of other authorities, including the legislature and the executive (Art. 173 of the Constitution). Judges, including judges of disciplinary courts, by making the act of oath, pledge to adjudicate in accordance with their conscience and in a manner free from any dependence. Therefore, information that the disciplinary judiciary was influenced by the legislative or executive power is thus devoid of any justification.