The National Board of the Polish Judges Association “IUSTITIA” would like to thank You, all judges of European countries, who regardless of their plans or other commitments, had walked side by side, had by hand with Polish lawyers in the Silent 1000 Robes March through the streets of Warsaw on January 11, 2020,.
Our invitation to the March has met with your response much wider than we expected, as well as with great kindness and understanding. As representatives of 22 European countries including the representative of free Turkey, with your presence on the march you emphasized that the current situation in the Polish judicial system should not be treated just as an internal conflict between judges and politicians about the shape of judiciary, but is an unprecedented crisis of fundamental democratic values and the rule of law in one of the largest countries of the European Union.
Having you among us in the streets of Warsaw Polish judges more like ever before have felt being part of the European community. What`s more your presence made the world to saw the real dimension of European solidarity expressed in a deepest sense that the attempt to destroy independent judiciary in Poland is also an attack on the entire European system of judicial cooperation. It was an unprecedented event that is why media reports about the March appeared practically all over the world – apart from all European countries also in countries such as the USA, Australia or Japan.
It also should be noted, that with your such large participation and your support the European Commission has announced on January 14, 2020 that it will submit a request to the CJEU for the application of precautionary measures by suspending the functioning of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, and what`s more, 2 days later the European Parliament has adopted a resolution criticizing the governments in Poland and in Hungary for violations of the rule of law. It seems that because of all of this Polish judges have become convinced that they will be able to preserve independence and apoliticality. The March was also a demonstration of great solidarity: judges with lawyers, lawyers with citizens, Poles with the entire community of European countries.
I am convinced that the Silent 1000 Robes March has had positive effects for many years, strengthening and consolidating our judicial environment.
However, I know, that the path to saving the independent judiciary in Poland and maintaining it in line with EU values has not yet ended. I am also all concerned that such a situation that has occurred in our country may spread to other European countries and thus undermine the security and integrity of the entire European community.
Thank you very much for your support. You made us aware that we have many friends abroad no whom we can count on. Declaring our readiness to help in the event of any attempts to destroy the independent judiciary in your homelands, I am asking for further help and cooperation in the struggle for the rule of law.
I believe that the words of José Igreja Matos – the President of the European Association of Judges, who spoke at its the very end: “This day has come, this is the time, the judges have spoken” are a very good summary of ” 1000 Robes March”.
On behalf of all independent judges associated in the “Iustitia” Association,
President of the National Board