- Temat numeru
- Artykuł pochodzi z numeru IUSTITIA 1(43)/2021, dodano 9 czerwca 2021.
Aktualne kierunki rozwoju władzy sądowniczej. Marsz Tysiąca Tóg rok później
Good evening to you, and welcome to friends of the judiciary from Poland, Europe and the world.
One year after the march of a thousand robes, the memories of which were brought back by the excellent video, I can say again, that I am moved and honoured by your wisdom and solidarity. The march a year ago was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. We thought that there would be 1000 of us lawyers from Poland, that perhaps we would receive some expression of support from our European colleagues to read on the Internet, but instead there were 30 000 of us, and our friends from 24 countries in Europe were marching side by side with us in defence of the rule of law.
As President Jose Matos said at the end of the march: it has happened, the judges have spoken. This is in response to the words from the video, that the judges prefer listening, but there comes a time when you have to start to speak, and even to shout.
We are meeting today to mark the anniversary of the march of a thousand robes, and to note of a mensiversary – a day of solidarity with judges repressed in Poland. Today, as on the 18th of every month, we make a particularly strong demand for the reinstatement of the independent judges. Today marks exactly two months since Igor Tuleya was removed from the bench. Today, too, we learned of the scandalous decision to transfer overnight a dozen or so prosecutors several hundred kilometres away. This repression has affected the brave prosecutors from the Lex Super Omnia association, who profess and fight for similar values as European judges.
shortly after I became President of “Iustitia”, the dramatic events in Turkey in July 2016 unfolded. They greatly influenced my stance. Nothing captures these events of 2016 better than the words of our Turkish friend Yavuz Aydin:
“When I went to bed, I was a judge. In the morning I woke up as a terrorist . I know what it means to live in a country where the rule of law is being destroyed. I know how painful it is to lose the rule of law and democracy. I know how it feels to know that it is already too late”.
I keep seeing before my eyes the dramatic e-mails from those days, when agents of the regime were coming to arrest Turkish judges, European judges. Every day for the past five years, they would wake me up to action. Unfortunately, like Yavuz, I can say that I know what it means to live in a country where the rule of law and democracy are being destroyed. However, I will do everything to ensure that I do not have to say it is already too late. We in Poland today are saying, it is not too late.
The march of a 1 000 robes a year ago showed the solidarity of the judges, but not the silent solidarity. It showed the judges ready to act. It showed that judges can listen, but they can also speak. They can shout as they are marching in silence.
The march will continue. It is my dream that every year it goes through the streets of European cities and shouts together with those who are fighting for the rule of law.
When the day comes that the rule of law becomes a reality, these marches should be a reminder and a warning, because democracy and the rule of law must be upheld at all times. Nothing is given once and for all.
Reflection is always needed. Where we are, where we are going and why. For this reason, the march must stop every now and then. I understand that this is what our meeting today is for. For us, as judges, to see what we have in common, what we should have in common, and what makes us beautifully different. What we can give each other, so that we, as independent judges, can guarantee to all people the protection of their rights and freedoms.
May the next anniversaries, the next towns of the march, be milestones, but they should also be a challenge for us. I think we have all started on a high note. Warsaw 2020 is a milestone of “the solidarity of judges”. We have shown that we are no longer walking separately, but together, that a Polish, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Turkish or American judge is not walking alone. The judges are walking together. I am very happy to see your solidarity throughout the year. Your rulings, your positions, your e-mails, your words of support, your presence at the hearings in Poland and Luxembourg give hope in these difficult times. I think the judges who have been removed from the bench will say it best. Paweł Juszczyszyn for having had the dream of becoming a European judge, and for wanting to apply the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union. For this, politicians and disciplinary courts have been keeping him out of court for a year now.
It’s 2021, we are all over the world, Europe, the USA, Australia. Katarzyna Gajda opening the today’s webinar talked about determining where we are. The webinar will help answer that question, but the answer will not be complete. I have a proposal that in the coming year we answer the question of what constitutes a court established by law. After all, this is the beginning of our power to adjudicate, as the famous judgment of the ECHR in the Icelandic case says. The EC has produced a report, an atlas of sorts, on the administration of justice or, more accurately, violations of the rule of law. We all know that this, as the result of certain political compromises, does not reflect everything. Let us write our own report, at the same time presenting solutions which work, which are at risk and which represent violations of the principles of the rule of law.
We must continue to speak up, so that, to paraphrase Yovuz – it is not too late.