In October 2000, Project Poland co-hosted a conference entitled Advancing Poland's Judiciary: Efficiency and Independence (in Polish, "Sprawne zarzadzanie sadami w Polsce"). The conference activities took place from October 17 - October 21 in Warsaw, Lublin, and Poznan. The conference was jointly sponsored and organized by the Chicago-Kent College of Law's Project Poland, the Chicago Office of the Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Poland's Ministry of Justice, and Iustitia, the Polish Association of Judges.
The American participants included: Judge Barbara J. Disko, Circuit Court Judge, Cook County; Judge Francis A. Gembala, Associate Judge, Circuit Court Cook County; Bettina Gembala, Associate Clerk for Court Operations; Judge Thaddeus Kowalski, Associate Judge, Circuit Court Cook County; and Aurelia Pucinski, Clerk of the Circuit Court.
The need for efficiency
Justice delayed is justice denied. For this reason alone, efficiency is important in a court system, and technology now offers many new ways to make the legal system more efficient. Efficiency is a particularly important concern for Polandís judiciary. Polandís transition to a free-market economy has generated an unprecedented number of legal cases filed with the courts. At the same time, many judges left the judiciary for attractive jobs in the private sector, and funding considerations have made it difficult to increase the number of judges to an adequate level.
The need for independence
An independent impartial judicial is a cornerstone of the rule of law. Independence and efficiency can, however, conflict, and they have come into conflict in Poland. Polish judges are independent and impartial in adjudication; however, they are dependent administratively and financially on the Ministry of Justice, and, to achieve greater efficiency through even greater control of the courts, the Ministry of Justice has prepared a draft of a law that provides for greater administrative control of the court system.