Civil Liability of a Disciplinary Spokesman for Breach of Judicial Independence
The article comprises an analysis of the civil law liability of a disciplinary spokesman for breach of judicial independence. The starting point of the analysis is general possibility of imposing civil liability on the judicial disciplinary spokesman, and that judges’ immunity protects from criminal offences only. The civil liability of the disciplinary spokesman is grounded on the requirement of due performance of the disciplinary spokesman’s function. The boarders between the power of the disciplinary spokesman and the civil liability must be assessed in light of the limbs of a disciplinary offense, which limit the disciplinary spokesman’s right to intervene in certain cases. The civil liability of the disciplinary spokesman is possible not only on the grounds of art. 23 and 24 of the Polish Civil Code, but also on the basis of tortious liability. The availability of these legal mechanisms is directly related to the nature of the disciplinary spokesman’s act, and boils down to the question whether the disciplinary spokesman is justified in a given instance to initiate disciplinary proceedings, i.e. whether the limbs of a disciplinary offence as required by art. 107 § 1 u.s.p. are present. The article discusses two crucial elements of the civil law liability of the disciplinary spokesman: unlawfulness and negligence. Further elements of the liability: loss and causation do not differ from the civil law standards. Therefore, in this respect, the article refers to the general rules.