Trzecia władza: Sądownictwo w latach 1946-2023


Tomasz Pietryga


courts, judges, rule of law, Round Table, transformation, EU, European Court of Justice



Research on public opinion indicates how low the trust in courts is, not only due to the protracted proceedings. Often another allegation is highlighted – the estrangement of judges and courts from society. This assessment is accompanied by low belief in the justice of judges.
They are not perceived as indisputable guardians of the rules, or an ethical example for society. This is why the strong constitutional conflict between political and judicial authorities, that erupted in 2015 and continues  to this day, is complex. It cannot be argued that this is a result of only current political games, or authoritarian ambition. The causes are deeper.
This book is not an attempt to justify the changes introduced in the judiciary after 2015, which led not only to a partial ‘personnel reset of of Themis’, but also to the deregulation of the legal system in Poland and a strong and costly conflict with the European Union. The aim is to find the sources of what happened, and these go much deeper than the PiS coming to power in 2015. The causes should be sought in the period of transformation, when the judiciary and judges were transitioning from a totalitarian state to democracy.
The lack of accountability, of a transition period, meant that in the new system people were dishonoured and unworthy of holding the office, yet still held the highest positions in the justice system, shaping its features in the Third Polish Republic. For some of society, this was unacceptable. As a result, this unresolved chapter exploded with great force in 2015, shaking the system that had been shaped for nearly three decades.


  • Rozdział I. Sądownictwo i sędziowie w PRL, „karnawał solidarności”, stan wojenny i jego konsekwencje .......... 15
  • Rozdział II. Okrągły Stół .......... 51
  • Rozdział III. Sądownictwo w czasach przełomu 1989-1990 .......... 109
  • Rozdział IV. Sąd Najwyższy w czasie transformacji .......... 143
  • Rozdział V. Sędziowie stanu wojennego .......... 175
  • Rozdział VI. Kruche fundamenty .......... 223
  • Rozdział VII. Druga próba weryfikacji sądownictwa, lata 1997-2001 .......... 257
  • Rozdział VIII. Pierwsza „wojna o sądy” po dojściu PiS do władzy w 2005 r. (przyczyny, przebieg, konsekwencje) .......... 293
  • Rozdział IX. Sąd nad dekretami stanu wojennego .......... 349
  • Rozdział X. Druga „wojna o sądy” po dojściu PiS do władzy, lata 2015-2023 .......... 417
  • Rozdział XI. Krajobraz po bitwie .......... 453

Author Biography

Tomasz Pietryga

Tomasz Pietryga jest dziennikarzem, publicystą, wykładowcą akademickim. Od wielu lat związany z dziennikiem „Rzeczpospolita”. W 2018 r. był nominowany do nagrody Grand Press za Raport o polskim sądownictwie. Absolwent Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. Doktorant wybitnego kryminologa prof. Brunona Hołysta.



December 21, 2023


Details about the available publication format: PDF (The lowest price over the last 30 days: 82 PLN)

PDF (The lowest price over the last 30 days: 82 PLN)

ISBN-13 (15)


Details about the available publication format: Paperback


ISBN-13 (15)