Posts in the category


EU Court of Justice poised to draw line in sand over judicial independence in Poland

Poland’s Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, Maciej Taborowski, explains the significance of prejudicial questions submitted by Polish courts. On Tuesday 19 November, the CJEU will issue a crucial ruling determining the status of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court and the neo-National Council of the Judiciary.

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Law and Justice’s Concentrated Power over Polish Prosecutors

On 8 July 2019, prosecutor Mariusz Krasoń was relocated from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Cracow, Poland to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Wrocław-Krzyki, almost 300 km away, and two levels lower in the hierarchy. The Justice Defence Committee (KOS) indicates that in May 2019, prosecutor Krasoń initiated a resolution of the Assembly of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Cracow.

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CJEU Yet Again Slams Judicial “Reforms” in Judge Retirement Age Verdict

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled for a second time that a cornerstone of the PiS-led judicial “reforms” is incompatible with EU law. In its verdict of 5 November, the CJEU stated that the provisions of the Common Courts Act adopted in 2017, including those making the retirement ages for men and women different, infringed the prohibition on discrimination and violated the principle of effective judicial protection.

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Freedom of expression of judges and prosecutors: UNHRC report

While the freedom of expression of public officials can be sometimes restricted with a view to protecting the impartiality and independence of institutions, in the event of a breach of the rule of law, judges and prosecutors can be seen as having a moral duty to speak out – says the report.

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Lacking a majority, PiS needs the Senate to install a new Commissioner for Human Rights

The Senate in opposition hands means the end of Law and Justice’s dreams of subordinating the Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights. Without the consent of senators, the new Commissioner will not take up the post in 2020 after Adam Bodnar’s current term ends. If the Senate rejects the candidates put forward by PiS, Bodnar may remain in the post of Commissioner longer. And continue to point out where PiS is breaking the law.

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Balicki: The worst Sejm in three decades has destroyed Polish parliamentarism

Ryszard Balicki, a leading Polish constitutional scholar from the University of Wrocław, has passed judgement: the current Sejm whose term is now coming to a close, responsible for violations of established traditions and the Constitution as well, was a mute and essentially pointless Sejm. Who is responsible? In large part, the former Marshal of the Sejm, Marek Kuchciński.

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Kaczyński details PiS plans for “vetting” Polish judges after Sunday’s election

The head of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has stated that the ruling party will complete its “reform” of the justice system, overcoming what he calls “the last barrier”. Kaczyński invokes the Polish constitution, which provides mechanisms for the reorganization of the courts. In practice, this will mean a vetting of all judges in the country and the removal of those who fail to toe the line.

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Undemocratic but Formally Lawful: The Suspension of the Polish Parliament

While the attention of many constitutional law scholars has been on the UK Government’s decision to prorogue Parliament and first judicial responses, the Polish Sejm’s plenary sitting has been unexpectedly suspended and postponed until after the general elections of 13 October 2019. The decision has a precedential nature. For the first time since the Polish Constitution entered into force, the ‘old’ Sejm is sitting while the ‘new’ Sejm will be waiting for an opening. Although this decision is formally compliant with the Polish Constitution, it is nonetheless undemocratic and raises some serious questions about the motivation behind this move.

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AG Tanchev gives robust defence of judges’ right to turn to CJEU

CJEU Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev confirmed that judges may pose preliminary questions to the Court of Justice concerning their independence in the context of the disciplinary system for judges in EU Member States.

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Poland’s Justice Minister Continues Dissembling about Judiciary “Reform”

The Law and Justice government argues that the reforms introduced since 2015 do not differ from solutions in place elsewhere. But Law and Justice has politicised the National Council of the Judiciary and subjugated the Constitutional Tribunal. They are trying to take over the Supreme Court and is going after judges who dare to voice criticism. They have carried out a ghastly purge in the public prosecutorial service. Every particular change is troubling, but all the more so when viewed in its entirety.

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