President appoints new Supreme Court first president

2020-05-25 19:31 update: 2020-05-27, 12:55
 Małgorzata Manowska. Photo PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Małgorzata Manowska. Photo PAP/Tomasz Gzell
President Andrzej Duda has appointed Malgorzata Manowska as the first president of Poland's Supreme Court, presidential spokesman Blazej Spychalski announced on Monday.

The new head of the Supreme Court replaces Judge Malgorzata Gersdorf, whose term of office expired on April 30.

The head of state also appointed Michal Laskowski as the president of the Supreme Court leading its Penal Chamber, Spychalski added.

The General Assembly of Judges of the Supreme Court on Saturday elected five candidates for the post of its first president. The list of candidates was conveyed to President Andrzej Duda, who was to appoint a new first president from among the five candidates for a six-year term. 

The list of candidates included: Wlodzimierz Wrobel (50 votes), Malgorzata Manowska (25 votes), Tomasz Demendecki (14 votes), Leszek Bosek (4 votes) and Joanna Misztal-Konecka (2 votes).

Laskowski was selected by the president from among three candidates forwarded by the General Assembly of Judges.

The General Assembly of Judges of the Supreme Court elected the candidates after six-day-long deliberations.

Malgorzata Manowska graduated in administrative law from Warsaw University, from which she also obtained her Ph.D. She holds an Associate Professorship at Warsaw's Lazarski University, where she specialises in civil procedural law. 

A judge for the past 25 years, Manowska has sat on Warsaw courts at every judicial level, including 14 years on the Warsaw Appeals Court. 

She was appointed to the Civil Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court in October 2018, although her nomination raised questions due to controversies around the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), which recommended her.

For over four years (from January 2016), Manowska headed the National School of the Judiciary and Prosecution in Krakow, southern Poland. 

In 2007, she served a several-month term as Deputy Justice Minister under then and current Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro.