Poland's Deputy Minister of Justice Łukasz Piebiak has resigned. He responded to allegations that he had organized a hate campaign against judges who criticized the controversial judicial reforms of the national-conservative Justice and Justice Party (PiS). At the same time he announced to take action against the Internet portal onet.pl for defamation.
"Out of a sense of responsibility for the success of the reforms, which I have worked hard for four years, I submit my resignation to the Minister of Justice," wrote Piebiak in a statement to the Polish news agency PAP.
The Polish news website onet.pl had reported Monday that Piebiak had advised with a woman named Emilia on ways to discredit judges. Among other things, it should have gone to spread anonymously exposing information about the judges on the Internet and to journalists. Emilia told onet.pl that around 20 judges were victims of the campaign.
Piebiak denied the report and announced that he would sue the news website. "It's no coincidence that these lies appear shortly before the parliamentary election," he said. Just two weeks ago, Polish Parliament President Marek Kuchciński – also a member of the PiS – resigned due to a flight cost scandal.
After her election victory at the end of 2015, the PiS had, inter alia, a controversial judicial reform to accelerate the retirement of numerous Chief Justice on the way. However, the European Court of Justice forced Poland to repeal the scheme, as it undermined the independence of the judiciary. The European Commission has been acting against Poland since the beginning of 2016 because of several judicial reforms. It accuses the national-conservative government in Warsaw of curtailing the independence of the judiciary and undermining the separation of powers.
Politics (t) Judicial Reform (t) Poland (t) Warsaw (t) PiS (t) Law and Justice (PiS) (t) Hate Campaign (t) Judicial Reform (t) Justice