The presidential project on justices of the peace was under consideration by the United Right; as President’s Chancellery, we emphasize that the peace courts’ formula is flexible and can also be adapted to a possible reform of the common judicial structure, presidential adviser Paweł Mucha told PAP.
Solutions for justices of the peace have been worked on since the spring of last year by a team led by Prof. Piotr Kruszyński, which started its activity after talks between Paweł Kukiz and President Andrzej Duda.
In November last year, the president submitted an initiative to the Sejm to introduce the establishment of justices of the peace in Poland. The presidential proposal included two bills: a bill on justices of the peace and a bill to introduce the law. The president, who addressed the initiative to the Sejm, said that the introduction of justices of the peace would bring justice closer to citizens and speed up judicial proceedings.
PAP asked the presidential adviser, Paweł Mucha, about the parliamentary work on the proposal and whether there was the impression that the project was “stuck” in the Sejm. “Both presidential bills are in first reading at the Sejm’s plenary session,” Mucha noted. He recalled that a special subcommittee was appointed within the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights to examine the bills. As he noted, several meetings of the subcommittee have taken place so far, during which the subcommittee began to discuss the presidential projects.
“On the part of the Chancellery of the President, we are fully ready to continue this work. We emphasize that this is a project that addresses these key issues when it comes to the functioning of the judiciary today – that is, we are talking about the issues of trust in the justice system and, on the other hand, the excessively long procedures “- pointed Mucha.
When asked when – in his opinion – the bills could be passed, he emphasized that it is now up to parliament. “There is, of course, the question of the correct definition of vacatio legis, detailed legal solutions that we can talk about. We have repeatedly emphasized that we are also open to certain changes when it comes to the possibility of improving these projects” – noted Mucha on.
Asked if, in the opinion of President Andrzej Duda, the pace of work on the projects was satisfactory, Mucha replied: “We also know that these projects were discussed within the United Right, including with the circle of President Paweł Kukiz. (… ) The past meetings, conversations and arrangements made in the United Right’s environment”.
The presidential adviser stressed that it is natural for any law to require the approval of a parliamentary majority. He expressed the hope that the proposals would be supported by the whole of the United Right, the circle of Polish Affairs and Kukiz’15, as well as some members of the opposition. “A similar project (as the presidential one) was the PSL project, which was founded in an earlier period” – he noted.
Two weeks ago, the leader of Kukiz’15, Paweł Kukiz, announced that – if an agreement on justices of the peace is not reached within two months and the relevant regulations are not adopted – he would join the opposition with a vote of no confidence. in the Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro. In May, Kukiz announced that a team would be formed with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Kukiz’15, which, he said, would “explain any discrepancies” in the solutions related to justices of the peace.
When asked about reports that Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro had objections to the presidential proposal, he replied that he did not want to speak on behalf of Paweł Kukiz, the Ministry of Justice and the minister who manages Ziobro. “As I said – this general discussion took place. While working on these bills, we also argued that peace courts within the common judiciary are an improvement in the functioning of courts and that this formula is flexible enough to be adaptable to different plans and intentions, including when it comes to reforming the structure of the common judiciary,” he said.
“It can be imagined that even with some change in the structure of the common judiciary, these peace courts could also be included in this model. We formulated these solutions in accordance with the Constitution and incorporated them into the structure of the common judiciary. It’s a flexible model” – emphasized Mucha.
In April, two projects – prepared by the Ministry of Justice – concerning changes to the system of common courts, the structure of which would be “flattened”, were published on the website of the Government Legislation Center. It is about the new laws on the common court system and provisions introducing these rules. The announcement and assumptions of these planned fundamental changes were announced by Ziobro last November. Last year, the chairman of PiS, Jarosław Kaczyński, also spoke about it in one of the interviews.
One of the main principles of the reform planned by the Ministry of Justice is the so-called flattening of the court structure. In place of the current district, district and appellate courts, regional courts and regional courts will be established – the first to hear cases at first instance and the second – at second instance.
On June 21, government spokesman Piotr Müller, when asked when the government could deal with further changes in the judiciary, replied that there are currently no such decisions in the Polish government. A few days ago he spoke about the need for changes in the judiciary – incl. during the meeting with the inhabitants of Białystok – PiS president Jarosław Kaczyński. He stressed that the reform of the courts was one of the issues that the PiS government “has not yet dealt with”, but – as he emphasized – “their restoration is our fundamental duty and sooner or later we will do it”.