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Wiesław Johann Honorary of Citizen

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Wiesław Johann 
(born on 9 September 1939 in Ashmyany)
Honorary Citizen of Warsaw since 8 June 2017

Lawyer, journalist, university teacher, judge emeritus of the Constitutional Tribunal.
He was born on 9 September 1939 in Ashmyany. Since 1945, he has lived in Warsaw, where he graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Warsaw. He started his professional career by filling a position in the city centre Prosecutor’s Office, and later moved on to working as a legal advisor in craftsman organisations in Warsaw. In 1972, he abandoned the further pursuit of his legal career and, having taken part in a contest run by the Radio and TV Committee, he was offered a job with the Polish Radio. For nearly 8 years of his employment with the Radio, he worked on editing and preparing programmes about Warsaw. After the events of August 1980, he was selected by his colleagues to be the Head of the Warsaw’s editorial office of “Na Warszawskiej Fali” (On the Warsaw wave). During that time, he joined the so-called ‘revival movement’ started up by Warsaw journalists.
Following the imposition of martial law on 13 December 1981, he quit his job at the Polish Radio and resumed his legal career. With the necessary qualifications, he was registered as a lawyer. He immediately started counselling at the Primate’s Assistance Committee and participated in many political trials as a defence counsel. He defended not only the leading Solidarity figures but also, or primarily, many less known Opposition members across the country.  For many years, in his small flat, he and his wife Olga ran a legal advice office. At that time, he also served as an adviser to the Society of Authors ‒ ZAIKS, the Association of Polish Architects, and the underground Polish Journalists Association.
From 1989, Wiesław Johann still worked for the socio-political transformations in Poland. In 1990, he was appointed by PM Tadeusz Mazowiecki the Government Plenipotentiary for the closing down of the Main Office for the Control of the Press. Later he served, e.g., as the Head of the Commission for the return of Solidarity property expropriated by Polish People’s Republic institutions and organisations.
In November 1997, the Seym appointed Wiesław Johann judge of the Constitutional Tribunal. His term of office at the Tribunal ended on 2009. Now he has the status of judge emeritus. In addition, for almost 20 years, he has been a teacher at the Warsaw’s Collegium Cavitas and a member of the University Senate. He has also published many studies on constitutional and press laws.
In 2015, President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda appointed him his representative at the National Council of the Judiciary. Wiesław Johann is also the Chancellor of the Chapter of Polonia Restituta.
In recognition of his social efforts made for the benefit of the democratic legal State, he was awarded Polonia Restituta Commander's Cross with Star.

  fot. Zuzanna Sosnowska