25 retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal appeal to PM Morawiecki to withdraw his motion in K 3/21 case
'Concerns are increasingly being voiced that our country has reached a critical point in its recent history, and that it is up to the Constitutional Tribunal, among others, to ensure that the path of development chosen in 1989, based on the principle of a democratic state of law and integration with Western Europe, is not interrupted.' - a statement by 25 retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal
Statement by the retired Judges of the Constitutional Tribunal
20 July 2021
Read the original statement in Polish
For over a dozen years the Constitutional Tribunal, both before and after Poland’s accession to the European Union, has unequivocally and consistently stated that the Constitution of the Republic of Poland has a superior place in the system of sources of law binding in our country. This position was connected with the formulation of the principle of Poland’s support for European integration. The constitutional norm, according to which the Republic of Poland respects the international law binding upon it, has been confirmed and concretised.
The finding of the Constitutional Tribunal in the judgment of 15 July this year (P 7/20) that the provisions of the EU Treaties proclaiming the principle of loyal cooperation of Member States and granting the Court of Justice of the European Union competence to order interim measures in cases under consideration are inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland means an unjustified departure from the existing line of jurisprudence.
Soon, i.e. on 3 August 2021, a hearing in the case K 3/21 is to be held before the full Tribunal. The Constitutional Tribunal will examine from the outset the motion of the Prime Minister to declare unconstitutional the provisions of the European Treaties that create treaty-based grounds for the EU institutions to examine whether the laws of the Member States, including Polish, provide effective protection for subjects of law in the areas covered by EU law. In particular, the independence of the judiciary and the independence of judges are guaranteed.
The retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal are deeply concerned that a judgment upholding the motion in case K 3/21 will be tantamount to questioning the validity of fundamental provisions of EU law in Poland. The judgment is to be handed down at the request of the President of the Council of Ministers, a member of the European Council, the constitutional organ in charge of the government, authorized by the Constitution to conduct the internal and foreign policy of the Republic of Poland.
Retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal state that the supreme role of the Polish Constitution is in no way violated when EU institutions demand respect for the independence of the courts and the independence of judges. These demands do not go beyond what is granted to them in the EU Treaties ratified by the Republic of Poland and whose compatibility with the Constitution has been confirmed by the Constitutional Tribunal. The competence of the EU institutions does not relate to the judicial system, but to the qualities that national judges must have in order to be able to adjudicate in European cases. Respect for judicial independence and independence of judges is also required by the Polish Constitution (Article 4, Article 45, Article 78, Article 173, Article 178).
Therefore, retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal appeal to the President of the Council of Ministers to withdraw their motion, which is possible until the hearing begins.
Concerns are increasingly being voiced that our country has reached a critical point in its recent history, and that it is up to the Constitutional Tribunal, among others, to ensure that the path of development chosen in 1989, based on the principle of a democratic state of law and integration with Western Europe, is not interrupted.
Our taking the floor stems from our fidelity to the constitutional oath we took upon appointment to the judiciary and from our conviction that the Polish raison d’état requires that we do not remain silent today.