Majority of Poles take EU Court of Justice side in fighting PiS attack on courts

Share

Journalist at OKO.press and Archiwum Osiatyńskiego

More

Among those surveyed, 58% feel that the CJEU has the right to stop the Law and Justice-led “reform” of the judiciary if the Court of Justice rules it violates EU law. Only 35% disagree. The arguments given by the government, which maintains that the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice does not have the right to take up the issue of Polish courts, are even failing to convince PiS voters. Polish women are pro-EU: they are far more likely than men to take the side of the EU’s highest court.



Editorial note: the survey discussed in this article was conducted prior to the EU Court of Justice’s ruling handed down today (19 November). In the verdict, the CJEU found against the Polish government’s measures.

 

The Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg on two occasions has already challenged key elements of the “reform” of the judiciary led by Law and Justice (PiS). On Tuesday 19 November it is due to answer the question of whether the Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court is an independent court in the sense of EU law and how this is affected by the new way in which the National Council of the Judiciary has been appointed.

 

“Luxembourg has no right to judge the reforms”, “Poland is being persecuted”, “similar solutions are in place in Germany and Spain,” politicians from the ruling Law and Justice party argue.

 

The latest IPSOS survey for OKO.press examines whether the narrative of the authorities, also reproduced by public media subordinated to PiS, is affecting the public’s perception of the competencies of the CJEU.

 

The results show that the arguments advanced by PiS are not convincing Poles. The majority of respondents, 58%, are of the opinion that the CJEU may stop the “reform” of the judiciary if it finds that the reform is in violation of EU law. Only 35% are of the opposite opinion, while 6% found it hard to say.

 

 

The Law and Justice narrative is weakening. One year ago, in response to the same question 54% agreed that the CJEU had the right to do so, while 41% said it did not.

 

For PiS = against CJEU

 

This trend is also visible among Law and Justice voters. Today, 66% of them are against “interference” by the CJEU. At the same time, as many as a quarter of them are convinced that the Court of Justice may stop government reforms if it considers them to be in breach of EU law. 9% of Law and Justice supporters had no opinion.

 

In August 2018, the lead of “no” over “yes” was as high as 58%. Today it is only 41%.

 

Views opposed to the CJEU also dominate among voters of the Confederation party, although less so – 54% of them responded negatively to the question. On the other hand, 40% were in favour. A relatively high number among supporters of a party whose most prominent politician, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, has been calling for the “destruction of the European Union” for years and whose activists get excited about burning the EU flag.

 

Voters of all the other opposition parties are overwhelmingly on the side of the EU Court of Justice. Among voters of the Civic Coalition, 97% of those surveyed were in favor.

 

 

A comparison of the results among Law and Justice supporters with those of all other voters shows that the government’s message is red meat for its own base. It is, however, ineffective in convincing political opponents.

 

 

Women closer to Luxembourg

 

The survey highlighted fundamental differences between the sexes.

 

Women are almost twice as likely to be in favour of CJEU intervention than against it (61% to 31%). This difference may be due to the fact that women are statistically better educated than men.

 

 

At OKO.press we have written about the increasingly sharp divisions between Polish men and women under 30 years of age. Young Poles and young Polish women choose different political parties and have different opinions on road safety.

 

These divisions can also be seen in relation to the competencies of the CJEU and the European Union. As many as 73% of women under 30 support CJEU intervention, while only 23% are against it. Among men of the same age, opinions are more strongly divided – 53% take the Court’s side, while as many as 42% are opposed.

 

Hope in the CJEU

 

Awareness of the CJEU’s competencies among the public is crucial, because the Court seems to be the only EU institution capable of stopping breaches of the rule of law by PiS.

 

On 5 November, a verdict was issued on the European Commission’s complaint against the reform of the common courts. The Court of Justice ruled that the provisions of the 2017 legislation, including differentiating the retirement age of female and male judges, violated the prohibition on discrimination and the principle of effective judicial protection.

 

In the case of the retirement age of Supreme Court justices, the CJEU delivered its final judgment on 24 June. The Court ruled that shortening the term of office of serving judges – including the First President – by lowering their retirement age was incompatible with EU law.

 

In October 2019, the European Commission filed its third complaint against the Polish judicial reform with the Court in Luxembourg. This case concerns disciplinary proceedings for judges. According to the European Commission, there is a risk they can be used to exert political influence over court rulings.

 

IPSOS survey for OKO.press 21-23 October 2019, conducted via the CATI method (by phone) on a nationwide representative sample of 1004 respondents.

 

[translated by Matthew La Fontaine]



Author


Journalist at OKO.press and Archiwum Osiatyńskiego


More

Published

November 19, 2019

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary Chamberdisciplinary proceedingsPolandrule of lawConstitutional Tribunaljudicial independenceZbigniew ZiobroEuropean CommissionCourt of Justice of the EUjudgesNational Council of the JudiciaryCourt of JusticeEuropean UnionAndrzej DudaIgor TuleyaMałgorzata Manowskadisciplinary systemMinister of JusticeCommissioner for Human RightsEuropean Court of Human RightsMateusz MorawieckiCJEUpresidential electionsjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsdemocracymuzzle lawHungaryJarosław Kaczyńskielections 2020Beata MorawiecFirst President of the Supreme CourtprosecutorsKamil Zaradkiewiczdisciplinary commissionerEuropean Arrest WarrantCOVID-19PresidentProsecutor GeneralConstitutionfreedom of expressioncriminal lawMarek SafjanOSCEWaldemar ŻurekPaweł JuszczyszynNational Public ProsecutorPiotr SchabPrzemysław Radzikcriminal proceedingsPrime MinisterJulia PrzyłębskaExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chambermedia freedomSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJNational 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 StępkaK 3/21P 7/20Ministry of JusticeC-791/19disciplinary liability for judgesNational Electoral CommissionGeneral 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-AbramdefamationTHEMISTVPLex 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 WarsawCourt of Justice of the European UnionJustice FundAdam SynakiewiczcoronavirusPiSresolution of 23 January 2020Piotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakLeon 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 judgmentEU law primacyForum 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 BirgfellerBelarusEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediastate of emergencypostal votepostal vote bill