Poland’s new Supreme Court chief justice could spell trouble for communist-era justices

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President Andrzej Duda has appointed Małgorzata Manowska as chief justice of Poland’s Supreme Court, who is raising hopes that the post-communism ideology that has dominated the Polish judiciary is coming to an end, said Gazeta Polska editor Tomasz Sakiewicz in an interview.

Manowska is one of the judges who have come into the court since the coming to power of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS). 

Tomasz Sakiewicz interviewed on TVP Info said he was pleased that Manowska has been chosen over Włodziemierz Wróbel — the judge most of the Supreme Court justices had wanted to become the head of the court.

Wróbel had campaigned earlier against holding the presidential election, clearly a political act designed to hurt PiS.

According to Sakiewicz, the Supreme Court was the last bastion of post-communist institutions at the federal level, which he described as the last from an institution that “had been brought to Poland on the back Soviets tanks”.

He acknowledged that there were still several judges from the former communist system around, but that the shape of the court was at last changing.