Constitutional court head appeals to rebel judges to fall in line
Julia Przyłębska, head of Poland's Constitutional Tribunal (TK), has appealed to six judges that refuse to perform their duties over a dispute as to whether Przyłębska is a legal president to respect an appeal by herself and seven other judges that support her to return to adjudicating.
The six protesting judges maintain that Przyłębska, the constitutional court's president since 2016, had completed her six-year tenure last December and now no longer chairs the court. Przyłębska claims her term as president concludes in December 2024, when her term as a TK judge also ends.
The dispute has stalled the TK's work on an amendment to the Polish Supreme Court law. The amendment is needed to unlock billions of euros in post-pandemic EU funding for Poland that Brussels has frozen on concerns over the state of the rule of law in Poland.
Przyłębska and her seven supporters have recently appealed to the conflicted judges to urgently take up all their duties, including a return to consultations and participation in court cases.
Przyłębska told Polish state-owned Radio Three on Thursday that the appeal was issued by "an absolute majority" of Tribunal judges.
She said that "it should be assumed that in a collective body, which the Constitutional Tribunal is, the opinion of the absolute majority should be an opinion that the minority should, unfortunately, comply with.
"I hope that the judges will accept this appeal... It is a firm request, but still a request," she said, admitting that as the TK president she had no instruments to enforce the will of the majority on the protesting judges.