A Grim Joke

Four Judiciary Musketeers on Opposite Sides of the Barricade

4 May 2020

Ten years have passed since the beginning of the four Polish musketeers’ cooperation towards a common goal. Their motto “One for all, all for one” sounds like a grim joke today. There is no return to cooperation anymore.

A glance at the website of Poland’s largest and one of Europe’s most numerous judicial associations may come as a surprise today. The history page of the Association of Polish Judges Iustitia lists all its authorities to date. You could call it a Hall of Fame of judges, who have meritoriously contributed to the construction of the judiciary and the rule of law.

They met once, in a single association: the former deputy minister of justice, the grey eminence of a judiciary internet forum, the current leader of Iustitia, as well as another leader, who is now president of a large regional court.

These comrades-in-arms, now on both sides of the barricade, used to work together. What is more, they were unanimous in their command of the association, at an important moment in its transformation. This was in the years 2010-13, which were crucial with regard to the current dispute over the justice system.

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Jarosław Gwizdak

Visegrad Insight Fellow. Former judge and Court President in Katowice. He currently works as a teacher, columnist and activist. He was the first person awarded the „Civic Judge of the Year” prize.

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