President appoints new Supreme Court's chief and penal chamber head
President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday officially appointed Malgorzata Manowska as the first president of Poland's Supreme Court (SN) and Michal Laskowski as the president of the SN leading its Penal Chamber.
Manowska replaces Judge Malgorzata Gersdorf, whose term of office expired on April 30. She was selected by Duda for a six-year term from among five candidates forwarded by the General Assembly of Judges.
Laskowski replaces Stanislaw Zablocki who has resigned. He was selected by the president from among three candidates forwarded by the General Assembly of Judges.
The decision on both appointments was based on the president's prerogative, in accordance with the Constitution, Duda said during the Tuesday ceremony.
"This is a very important moment for the Polish state, because the Supreme Court plays an extremely important role in the Republic of Poland as one of the most important elements of the third power (...) next to the Constitutional Tribunal and the Supreme Administrative Court," he said.
Duda expressed the hope that the nominations would bring some reassurance to the Supreme Court. "We know perfectly well what the situation has been lately, there was a lot of anxiety, there will probably be a lot of discussions. I regret all politicised voices from the Supreme Court, he said, appealing to the new presidents to "tone down the mood among their colleagues," he said. In Duda's view, judges should not disclose their views and beliefs to the public. "This does not serve peace in the Supreme Court or in the administration of justice," he said.