Disciplinary regime under ECJ review: a dispute over admissibility

On Tuesday, 18 June 2019, the European Court of Justice considered two preliminary requests submitted by courts in Łódź and Warsaw. Both courts are concerned whether the new system of disciplinary proceedings against judges meets EU standards, particularly those enshrined in the principle of effective judicial protection. However, the hearing was mainly focused not on particular provisions of law questioned by the Polish courts, but on the admissibility of the questions these courts referred to the ECJ.

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New retirement rules for Polish judges contravene EU law – according to Advocate General

In a long-awaited opinion addressing an element of the so-called reform of the judiciary in Poland, the Court of Justice Advocate General Tanchev states that “by lowering the age of retirement of judges of the common law courts, and by vesting the Minister of Justice with the discretion to extend the active period of such judges, Poland has breached its obligations under EU law”.

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Commission v Poland – has the revolution already happened?

The CJEU will soon announce its ruling in a controversial case brought by the Commission against Poland. Barbara Grabowska-Moroz provides background and analysis of the impact of the proceedings and the Court of Justice’s potential ruling on efforts to stop the backslide of the rule of law in Poland and around Europe.

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Supreme Court queries ECJ about new appointee

Controversy is growing around the forced transfer of judge and former National Council of Judiciary spokesperson, Waldemar Żurek, from the second instance district court in Cracow to a court of the first instance.

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Prosecutor disciplined for participation in demonstration in defence of Supreme Court wins with National Prosecutor’s Office

Prosecutor Piotr Wójtowicz from Legnica will not be formally disciplined for his appearance at a protest in defence of the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the disciplinary court for prosecutors rejected the appeal of National Prosecutor Bogdan Święczkowski, who was seeking to punish Wójtowicz.

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Prosecutors hauled in for questioning by disciplinary spokesman

Prosecutors from Kraków are being summoned for questioning by the disciplinary spokesman to explain their participation in the Congress of Regional Public Prosecutors held on 15 May. At the meeting, a resolution was passed in which the prosecutors emphasized their independence and mentioned pressure “from above”.

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Not only free courts, but also speedy and friendly. The Congress of Lawyers has a plan. What about Ziobro?

Depoliticization of the National Council of the Judiciary, depriving the Minister of Justice of oversight with respect to courts and the prosecutorial service, speeding up cases in commercial and administrative courts, lowering court fees for citizens and elimination of the Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Chamber. These are the most important proposed changes in the law presented at the 2nd Congress of Polish Lawyers.

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KRS defending itself against CJEU: “Every criterion for independence impeccably satisfied”

The newly constituted National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) does not want the Court of Justice to review its status, nor the activities of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. “Every criterion for independence is impeccably satisfied”, said Jarosław Dudzicz, member of the new KRS, on 14 May in Luxembourg. The Law and Justice government is again employing the rhetorical arguments of “German courts” and “thieves in togas”. A final verdict on the legality of the KRS will come in July at the earliest.

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Disciplinary proceedings against a judge for telling the truth about staffing problems in courts

A judge from Łódź wrote critical remarks on the internet about the president of a court nominated by Zbigniew Ziobro, staff shortages in courts, and the promotion by the National Council of the Judiciary of judges “from their side”. Disciplinary spokesman Przemysław Radzik decided that the justice crossed a line by discussing this publicly and has brought disciplinary charges against him.

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Prosecutor Wójtowicz under fire for defending judicial independence

The head of the national public prosecutor’s office, Bogdan Święczkowski, is seeking to punish prosecutor Piotr Wójtowicz (pictured below) for his presence at a demonstration protesting attacks on the independence of the Supreme Court and National Council of the Judiciary (KRS). Święczkowski is demanding punishment for “political” activity, despite the fact that he himself ran as a candidate of Law and Justice (PiS) in recent elections. The verdict in this case will set a major precedent and will show whether all prosecutors are equal under the law.

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