In the past few weeks, we have filed a cassation appeal with the Supreme Administrative Court (NSA) against the latest judgment issued by the Provincial Administrative Court (WSA) in Warsaw in July 2021 (which was served to us [two months later] in September). Contrary to three previous decisions, this “court” agreed, for the first time, with the administrative authorities that Lyudmyla Kozlovska’s stay within the territory of Poland was undesirable.
The substantiation of the judgment was very terse: the “court” shares the same standpoint that was presented by the voivode and the Head of the Office for Foreigners. And since the Internal Security Agency’s opinion is confidential for national security reasons and may not be disclosed, the “court” abstained from substantiating the judgment, indicating that the collected body of evidence was “logical and consistent” and was supplemented by the authorities in the course of subsequent exchanges with the Internal Security Agency.
Interestingly, all members of the adjudicating panel in charge of the latest “judgment’ by the Provincial Administrative Court were appointed by the politicised “National Judiciary Council” (known as the “New NJC”). The presiding judge (and, simultaneously, the judge-rapporteur), Wojciech Rowiński, has appeared in the media in connection with his support for the New NJC candidates and the subsequent acceleration of his professional career (i.e., a transfer from the District Court in Poznań to the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw). Moreover, the remaining two “WSA judges” can also attribute their professional advancement to their connections with the new NJC.
We have quoted the above circumstances in our cassation appeal filed with the Supreme Administrative Court. We have pointed out that the “judgment” was issued by unauthorised persons, and Lyudmyla Kozlovska was deprived of her right to an independent, impartial and unbiased trial, due to the fact that the composition of the court was improperly set up by the politicised New National Judiciary Council, in violation of the provisions of Article 179 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which should invalidate the proceedings. We also referred to a number of decisions issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), a resolution adopted by the three joint chambers of the Supreme Court in January 2020, as well as the SAC rulings issued in May, September and October 2021, as well as judgments overruling neo-KRS resolutions on appointments to judicial positions in the Supreme Court, and the judgments issued by the European Court of Human Rights in May and July 2021, according to which, irregularities in the appointment of judges lead to a violation of the right to a fair and honest trial.
We have filed an appeal for a reversal of the contested judgment and referral of the case back to the first-instance court for reconsideration. We have also requested a suspension of the proceedings, pending resolution by the CJEU of the preliminary questions issued by the Polish courts regarding the status of the so-called neo-judges, i.e. whether or not they can be regarded as judges under EU laws.
It needs to be remembered that the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw has already issued three decisions in connection with the entry ban that was imposed on Lyudmyla Kozlovska as a foreigner by the Polish authorities in 2018. The WSA upheld our three complaints against decisions issued by the Governor of the Mazovian Voivodship and Head of the Office for Foreigners, by indicating that there were no grounds to consider the Chair of the Open Dialogue Foundation a threat to national security. In the court’s opinion, the evidence collected by the Internal Security Agency that allegedly proved that thesis was terse and vague, and the conclusions drawn from it were “irrational”.
- The Lyudmyla Kozlovska Case timeline [updated]
- 3:0 for ODF. Another victory in court for the Foundation against PiS (19 April 2021)
- Court: Secret services’ conclusions “unreasonable”, Lyudmyla Kozlovska should have stayed in Poland (5 September 2019)
- Court finds entry ban on Lyudmyla Kozlovska unjustified (19 June 2019)
- Lyudmyla Kozlovska receives residence permit in Belgium (4 March 2019)
- Office for Foreigners refuses to delete Lyudmyla Kozlovska’s data from SIS (18 December 2018)
- Challenging the decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners: Lyudmyla Kozlovska’s request for removal from the SIS has been re-submitted (19 October 2018)
The Law and Justice Government vs Lyudmyla Kozlovska – selected media accounts:
- Dziennik Gazeta Prawna: Lies and a new embarrassing tussle in Kozlovska’s case (9 March 2021)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Lyudmyla Kozlovska won another skirmish with the government. Will the Chair of the Open Dialogue Foundation finally return to Poland? (7 March 2021)
- Onet: The court has overruled another decision to ban Lyudmyla Kozlovska from the ODF from the territory of Poland (4 March 2021)
- Onet: What do the Internal Security Agency and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have against Kozlovska? Nothing, but the hunt goes on (26 November 2020)
- SuperExpress: An EMBARASSING story at the Internal Security Agency. This is how they chased the enemies of the Law and Justice (17 November 2020)
- Dziennik Gazeta Prawna: The Law and Justice loses its war against Kozlovska. The court has contested the quality of evidence supplied by the Internal Security Agency (9 September 2019)