Responsibility of the Judicial Power and Disciplinary Responsibility of Judges
Two circumstances: ineffective legal protection system and controversial cases of abandonment of enforcement of judges’ disciplinary liability have become a basis for justifying amendments to regulations on judges’ disciplinary liability. New solutions are characterised by, among other features, the limiting of the independence of the judiciary and subjecting it to increased control exercised by the legislature and the executive. The rationale behind these changes is to be sought for in a claim that courts of law are not a representative of the people which can be considered qual to the other authorities and that, therefore, having been abused by judges, the rights they have enjoyed hitherto (other than the administration of justice) should be constrained. Some judges and representatives of the jurisprudence reject this argumentation pointing out that rather than being conducive to the declared goals of improving the functioning of courts and of judges’ observance of law, the amendments result in the limiting of the citizen’s right to an independent tribunal. In these circumstances, a dispute has arisen over how a judge should act if the law on disciplinary liability prohibits their right to criticise or legally verify regulations depriving them of the guarantee of independence and impartiality. Do the statutable principles of disciplinary liability also determine all the principles of the judiciary liability? What if there is a difference of opinions between the representatives of the legislature and the executive versus those of the judiciary concerning an interpretation of the citizen’s right to a tribunal and of the notion of “independence of a tribunal”? Analysing the legal and doctrinal argumentation offered by both parties may facilitate answering these questions. This approach may also prove useful in determining whether enforcing the new principles of disciplinary liability will resolve the current crisis in the relationship between courts and the other authorities or, on the contrary, initiate its further stage.