Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro on the CJEU ruling: it is unacceptable to us

Share

Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland

More

Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro declared that he does not recognise the justification of the CJEU ordering the “disregard of the order of national law”. The Court of Justice of the European Union today assessed Andrzej Duda’s disregard of the measure issued by the Supreme Administrative Court in the autumn of 2018, which prohibited the appointment of new Supreme Court judges.



 The text was originally published in Polish on the Polish Presss Agency (PAP) website on 2nd March 2021 and adapted by Onet.pl. We publish the translation.

 

  • The [Justice Minister’s] quote was about the procedure of appointing judges, which did not provide for their ability to appeal against the NCJ’s decision to accept or reject their candidacy
  • The Supreme Administrative Court then issued a measure, namely a decision that theoretically completely blocked the possibility of appointing new Supreme Court judges until the case was settled by the Supreme Administrative Court. But President Duda ignored this decision
  • The Supreme Administrative Court referred the question to the CJEU as to whether the procedure in which applicants in the recruitment are denied the right to appeal against a decision of the NCJ is a lawful procedure at all
  • Other than the Minister of Justice, the CJEU’s ruling has been criticised by the deputy head of the Ministry of Justice. According to Sebstian Kaleta, Tuesday’s judgment ‘undoubtedly interferes with Poland’s sovereignty’.

 

In response to the questions from the Supreme Administrative Court, the CJEU ruled on Tuesday that ‘successive amendments to the Act on the NCJ, which led to the abolition of effective judicial control of the Council’s decisions to present proposals for the appointment of candidates for Supreme Court judges to the president, may be in breach of EU law.” According to the CJEU, if a national court acknowledges that these amendments breach EU law, it is obliged to withdraw from applying these provisions.

 

This is about successive amendments to the Act on the NCJ, which modify, among others, the ability to appeal against resolutions of the NCJ on the appointment of Supreme Court judges.

 

CJEU’s ruling. Ziobro comments: unacceptable

 

Minister Ziobro referred to this ruling during a press conference. The politician reiterated that the constitution is the highest law in Poland. ‘In the light of the judgment that was passed today, it should be acknowledged that this article is no longer valid. Similarly, the Polish constitution is no longer in force. And the constitution is no longer the supreme act of law and the law of the Republic of Poland, but an inferior law, and it can be said that it was repealed by European regulations to the extent to which the court in Luxembourg deems it appropriate,’ said Ziobro.

 

He added that no Polish politician can agree with such a position.

 

As we mentioned, Ziobro believes that Tuesday’s CJEU ruling ‘is unacceptable to us’. ‘If you ask me whether I recognise this ruling in this sense, referring to the justification, which orders us to ignore the legal order of the state and the constitutional law, then of course I will never recognise such a ruling or a decision of such a body, which functions around the EU,’ said Ziobro.

 

Kaleta: The CJEU is trying to usurp competences that no government has delegated to it

 

As we mentioned above, according to Kaleta, Tuesday’s ruling by the CJEU ‘undoubtedly interferes with Poland’s sovereignty’. ‘By placing EU law above the Polish constitution (…), the CJEU, with the support of the opposition politicians and part of the judiciary, which is singing from the same hymn sheet as the Polish opposition, is aiming to exacerbate the anarchy in the judiciary,’ the deputy minister said at the press conference.

 

He argued that the CJEU is trying to ‘usurp competences that no government of an EU member state has delegated to it’. The deputy minister cited the achievements of the Polish and German Constitutional Tribunals in this context. He cited, among others, a 2005 ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal regarding the Treaty of Accession. According to that ruling, ‘because of its special power, the Constitution remains the supreme law of the Republic of Poland with respect to all international agreements that are binding on the Republic of Poland’. Kaleta emphasised that judges Ewa Łętowska and Marek Safjan were members of the bench at that time.

 

As he pointed out, the Tribunal presented a similar position five years later, in 2010, ruling on the Lisbon Treaty. ‘The Tribunal stated once again: the highest act in Poland is the constitution, while the Constitutional Tribunal as the body which has the competence to adjudicate on disputes of a constitutional nature is the court of the last word,’ he said.

 

The deputy minister also reiterated that the German Federal Constitutional Tribunal ruled in May 2020 that the CJEU had overstepped its competences in one of its rulings on the activities of the European Central Bank. ‘The German Constitutional Tribunal ruled that this ruling was not binding on Germany,’ said Kaleta.

 

He added that, in Tuesday’s ruling, the CJEU ‘does not discuss the theses of the German Tribunal’s ruling,’ but instead ‘directly, without any reliable legal arguments … indicates that, in Poland’s case, EU law takes precedence over the Polish constitution.’ In his opinion, this is evidence of double standards and that the CJEU is overstepping its competences.



Author


Everything you need to know about the rule of law in Poland


More

Published

March 3, 2021

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary Chamberdisciplinary proceedingsPolandConstitutional Tribunalrule of lawjudicial independenceZbigniew ZiobroCourt of Justice of the EUEuropean CommissionjudgesNational Council of the JudiciaryEuropean UnionCourt of JusticeAndrzej DudaIgor TuleyaMałgorzata Manowskadisciplinary systemMinister of JusticeEuropean Court of Human RightsMateusz MorawieckiCJEUCommissioner for Human Rightspresidential electionsjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsdemocracymuzzle lawHungaryJarosław Kaczyńskielections 2020Beata MorawiecFirst President of the Supreme CourtprosecutorsKamil Zaradkiewiczdisciplinary commissionerEuropean Arrest WarrantConstitutionCOVID-19Waldemar ŻurekJulia PrzyłębskaPresidentProsecutor Generalfreedom of expressionK 3/21criminal lawMarek SafjanOSCEPaweł JuszczyszynNational Public ProsecutorPiotr SchabPrzemysław Radzikcriminal proceedingsPrime MinisterExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chambermedia freedomSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJCourt of Justice of the European UnionNational ProsecutorelectionsWojciech HermelińskiStanisław PiotrowiczAndrzej ZollMałgorzata Gersdorfacting first president of the Supreme CourtAleksander StepkowskiOrdo IurisMay 10 2020 electionsmedia independenceAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczMaciej NawackiEAWmediaimmunityAnna DalkowskaCouncil of Europe2017freedom of assemblyFreedom HouseLech GarlickiStanisław BiernatArticle 7Venice CommissionWłodzimierz WróbelPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaP 7/20Ministry of JusticeC-791/19disciplinary liability for judgesNational Electoral CommissionPiotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court JudgesPresident of PolandPresident of the Republic of PolandJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesSejmBroda and Bojara v PolandMichał LasotaZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramdefamationTHEMISEU law primacyTVPLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskidemocratic backslidingViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetopoliceJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJJustice Defence Committee – KOSrecommendationTeresa Dębowska-RomanowskaKazimierz DziałochaMirosław GranatAdam JamrózStefan JaworskiBiruta Lewaszkiewicz-PetrykowskaWojciech ŁączkowskiEwa ŁętowskaHuman Rights CommissionerMarek MazurkiewiczCCBEAndrzej MączyńskiThe Council of Bars and Law Societies of EuropeJanusz NiemcewiczMałgorzata Pyziak- SzafnickaStanisław Rymarpublic opinion pollFerdynand RymarzAndrzej RzeplińskiSupreme Court PresidentJerzy StępieńPiotr TulejaSławomira Wronkowska-JaśkiewiczMirosław WyrzykowskireportBohdan ZdziennickiMarek ZubikDidier ReyndersEuropean ParliamentZiobroMichał LaskowskiMarek PietruszyńskiPiotr Gąciarekhuman rightscorruptionEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawJustice FundAdam SynakiewiczBelarusstate of emergencycoronavirusPiSEU treatiesresolution of 23 January 2020Leon KieresPKWinfringment actionEU valuesENCJlex NGOcivil societyRussiaIsraelforeign agents lawOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtLGBT free zonesequalityChamber of Extraordinary Verificationhate crimeshate speechcriminal codeGrzęda v PolandXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandŻurek v PolandSobczyńska and Others v PolandReczkowicz and Others v. PolandRafał Trzaskowskimedia lawIustitiaKrystian MarkiewiczPrzemysła RadzikSenateMarcin WarchołElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiJacek CzaputowiczPrzemysław Czarneklegislative practiceENAZbigniew BoniekcourtsOmbudsmanKraśnikNorwayNorwegian fundsNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsC-487/19Article 6 ECHRArticle 10 ECHRRegional Court in AmsterdamOpenbaar MinisterieUrsula von der LeyenEwa WrzosekAK judgmentSimpson judgmentForum Współpracy Sędziówpublic broadcastermutual trustLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamthe Regional Court in WarsawUnited Nationsjudcial independenceLeszek MazurMaciej Miterapopulisminterim measuresautocratizationMultiannual Financial Frameworkabortion rulingequal treatmentabortionprotestsfundamental rightsthe NetherlandsDenmarkSwedenFinlandMariusz KrasońCT PresidentGermanyCelmerC354/20 PPUC412/20 PPUAusl 301 AR 104/19Karlsruheact on misdemeanoursCivil Service ActParliamentary Assembly of the Council of EuropeEUWhite Paperlustrationtransitional justice2018Nations in TransitCouncil of the EUmedia taxStanisław Zabłockiadvertising taxmediabezwyboruJacek KurskiKESMAIndex.huTelex.huJelenJózsef SzájerKlubrádióSLAPPLIBE CommitteeStrategic Lawsuits Against Public ParticipationFrans TimmermansGazeta WyborczaOKO.pressUS Department of StatePollitykaBrussels IRome IISwieczkowskiArticle 2Forum shoppingadvocate generalDariusz ZawistowskitransparencyEuropean Economic and Social Committeepress releaseSebastian KaletaRights and Values ProgrammeC-156/21C-157/21C-619/18Marek Piertuszyńskidefamatory statementsWorld Justice Project awardNational Prosecutor’s Officeintimidation of dissentersWojciech SadurskiBogdan ŚwiączkowskiDisicplinary ChamberjudgeTribunal of StatetransferPechOlsztyn courtKochenovPrzemysła CzarnekEvgeni TanchevEducation MinisterFreedom in the WorldKrystyna PawłowiczECJIpsosFrackowiakOlimpia Barańska-Małuszeretirement ageMariusz MuszyńskiAmnesty InternationalHudocŁukasz PiebiakRegional Court in KrakówPiebiak gateKonrad SzymańskiPiotr Bogdanowicztrans-Atlantic valuesPiotr BurasLSOauthoritarian equilibriumlawyersArticle 258Act of 20 December 2019clientelismoligarchic systemRecovery FundEuropean Public Prosecutor's Officerepressive actPolish National FoundationLux VeritatisKoen LenaertsMałgorzata BednarekPiotr WawrzykPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiharrassmentMarian BanaśAlina CzubieniakSupreme Audit OfficeTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerEwa MaciejewskaPolish medianeo-judgespostal voteKrakówRzeszówDagmara Pawełczyk-Woickaborderpostal vote billprimacyXero Flor v. Poland