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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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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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Disappointment and the Polish Parliamentary Elections

Even the winners of yesterday’s parliamentary elections in Poland can feel (at least somewhat) like losers. There are many possible scenarios for how events will unfold, and underlying tensions threaten to wreak havoc among the main parties. While there are many reasons for all parties to be satisfied, there are also many reasons why they may look to the upcoming Sejm with trepidation rather than excitement.

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Informal exercise of power – a comfortable way to undermine democracy in Hungary

Viktor Orbán’s government is masterful at creating a feudal relationship of social dependence by employing informal means of coercion. And while informal means of coercion play a very important role in the regime aiming at consolidating his power, international observers are practically unable to address systemically and effectively.

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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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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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Harassment campaign conducted against leader of independent prosecutors

Krzysztof Parchimowicz, head of the Lex Super Omnia association of prosecutors, is the target of over a dozen different disciplinary proceedings. This is being done to exert a chilling effect on prosecutors who are critical of changes in the justice system that are being rammed through by the governing majority in Poland.

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Faced with Doubts over Body’s Legality, Judiciary Council President Remains Unrepentant

During his report to the Parliament, the president of the neo-KRS declared that the members of the Council would not leave their posts even in the event the CJEU rules against them. Only the Polish authorities can force them out.

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An interview with Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska, who refuses to adjudicate with Radzik. “I’m not afraid. My oath is to the Republic.”

Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska was the first justice in Poland to adjudicate with a judge whose name arose in conjunction with a smear campaign against independent judges. Bator-Ciesielska is already being prosecuted by the disciplinary spokesman, but in an interview with Mariusz Jałoszewski of OKO.press she says that judges must have a conscience, and that she is not afraid because judges cannot be afraid.

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Warsaw judge asks the EU Court of Justice whether the powers of the Polish Minister of Justice are compatible with EU law

Anna Bator-Ciesielska, a justice of the District Court in Warsaw, has distinguished herself as another brave Polish judge. Judge Bator-Ciesielska referred questions to the EU Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling on the powers of the Minister of Justice and on the status of the new National Council of the Judiciary, the majority of whose members are now elected by politicians rather than by judges, as the Constitution dictates. The filing also asks whether rulings issued by the Supreme Court will be valid under European law if a representative of the new NCJ is involved in the process of assigning cases to the Supreme Court.

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