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

Share

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

More

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.



More specifically, judge Bator-Ciesielska asks whether the following is compatible with EU law:

 

    – delegating by the Minister of Justice of judges to adjudication panels on the basis of a one-person decision, if the criteria for this decision are not known and no appeal against them can be lodged to any court, and the Minister may arbitrarily withdraw the delegation at any time.

 

    – a situation where a court ruling issued by a judge delegated by the Minister of Justice may be appealed against only to the Supreme Court, where the order in which cases are considered is decided, inter alia, by an individual elected by the new National Council of the Judiciary. Judge Bator-Ciesielska has queried whether such a ruling by the Supreme Court creates any effect under EU law.

 

Judge Bator-Ciesielska is seeking to learn whether this is consistent with the requirement of effective judicial protection, including the independence of the judiciary, and with the requirements arising from the presumption of innocence.

 

On 30 August, Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska was to settle a criminal case in the District Court in Warsaw adjudicating in a panel with Judge Przemysław Radzik, who is also the disciplinary spokesman for judges. Bator-Ciesielska refused.

 

Radzik’s name has appeared in the media in the context of a scandal in the Ministry of Justice concerning allegations of him coordinating a social media smear campaign with the Ministry of Justice against judges critical of changes in the court system.

 

On 2 September, Judge Radzik issued a statement demanding that “the National Council of the Judiciary, the Minister of Justice – General Prosecutor, the President of the District Court in Warsaw and disciplinary bodies, within the scope of their powers, adopt a position and take specific actions concerning (…) the behaviour of Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska, preventing her and possibly other judges from taking actions producing chaos and destabilizing the legal order of the Republic of Poland”.

 

On 2 September, the Board of the Association of Polish Judges Iustitia issued a statement in which it declared that the Deputy Disciplinary Spokesman for Judges, Michał Lasota, and Przemysław Radzik were unlawfully initiating proceedings, as they circumvented the spokesmen competent in particular courts.

 

On the same day, basing on a case she was to rule on with Radzik, Judge Anna Bator-Ciesielska presented her questions to the Court of Justice (file number X Ka 645/19).

 

The CJEU is presently conducting several proceedings concerning preliminary questions posed by Polish courts concerning the effects of changes in the justice system.

 

In June, the Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice, Evgeni Tanchev, issued a crushing opinion to the National Council of the Judiciary and the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court in response to questions posed by the Supreme Court. The judgment will be announced in the autumn.

 

Furthermore, the Advocate General will reveal its opinion in joined cases C-558/18 and C-563/18 on 24 September.

 

Polish judges are using questions to the EU Court of Justice to obtain hard evidence from the CJEU that the changes in the judiciary being rammed through by the ruling majority are not compatible with EU law.

 

Their attitude has also inspired their colleagues in Hungary.

 

Polish judges are turning to the CJEU because they do not believe in the independence of the Constitutional Tribunal, whose remit is to rule on the compatibility of the introduced solutions with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

 

The Commissioner for Human Rights has either withdrawn or refused to submit applications to the Constitutional Tribunal, due to the fact that the adjudicating panels include persons who occupied seats in the Tribunal of judges who had been duly elected in 2015. As a result, judgments issued by such panels could be challenged, which would lead to further uncertainty.

 

The Commissioner has used such arguments in respect to the repressive law reducing pensions for persons working or remaining in the service of some agencies of the state apparatus in the years 1944-1990.

 

[Author: Anna Wójcik]



Author


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


More

Published

September 4, 2019

Tags

Supreme CourtDisciplinary ChamberConstitutional Tribunaldisciplinary proceedingsPolandrule of lawZbigniew Ziobrojudicial independenceCourt of Justice of the EUEuropean CommissionNational Council of the JudiciaryjudgesEuropean UnionCourt of JusticeMałgorzata ManowskaAndrzej DudaIgor Tuleyadisciplinary systemCommissioner for Human RightsEuropean Court of Human RightsCJEUMinister of JusticeMateusz MorawieckiJarosław Kaczyńskipresidential electionsjudiciaryAdam Bodnarpreliminary rulingsdemocracyK 3/21muzzle lawHungaryelections 2020Kamil ZaradkiewiczBeata MorawiecFirst President of the Supreme CourtprosecutorsWaldemar Żurekdisciplinary commissionerEuropean Arrest WarrantProsecutor GeneralConstitutionCOVID-19Julia PrzyłębskaPresidentmedia freedomfreedom of expressionCourt of Justice of the European Unioncriminal lawMarek SafjanAleksander StepkowskiOSCEPaweł JuszczyszynNational Public ProsecutorPiotr SchabPrzemysław Radzikcriminal proceedingsPrime Ministerfreedom of assemblyStanisław BiernatExtraordinary Control and Public Affairs ChamberSupreme Administrative Courtconditionality mechanismconditionalityEU budgetCriminal ChamberLaw and JusticeprosecutionNCJMinistry of JusticeNational ProsecutorelectionsWojciech HermelińskiStanisław PiotrowiczAndrzej ZollMałgorzata Gersdorfacting first president of the Supreme CourtOrdo IurisMay 10 2020 electionsBroda and Bojara v Polandmedia independenceAmsterdam District CourtKrzysztof ParchimowiczTHEMISMaciej NawackiEAWmediaimmunityAnna DalkowskaCouncil of Europe2017policeFreedom HouseLech GarlickiEwa ŁętowskaArticle 7Venice CommissionWłodzimierz WróbelPM Mateusz MorawieckiAndrzej StępkaP 7/20Justice FundPiSC-791/19disciplinary liability for judgesNational Electoral CommissionAstradsson v IcelandPiotr PszczółkowskiJarosław WyrembakPegasusGeneral Assembly of the Supreme Court JudgesPresident of PolandPresident of the Republic of PolandJarosław GowinLGBTLGBT ideology free zonesSejmXero Flor w Polsce Sp. z o.o. v. PolandReczkowicz and Others v. PolandIustitiaKrystian MarkiewiczMichał LasotaZuzanna Rudzińska-BluszczSylwia Gregorczyk-AbramdefamationcourtsEwa WrzosekEU law primacyTVPLex Super OmniaAdam TomczyńskiBelgiumNetherlandsBogdan Święczkowskijudcial independencedemocratic backslidingViktor OrbanOLAFdecommunizationNext Generation EUvetoJózef IwulskiLaw on the NCJJustice Defence Committee – KOSrecommendationTeresa Dębowska-RomanowskaKazimierz DziałochaMirosław GranatAdam JamrózStefan JaworskiBiruta Lewaszkiewicz-PetrykowskaWojciech ŁączkowskiHuman 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 ParliamentOKO.pressZiobroMichał LaskowskiMarek PietruszyńskiPiotr Gąciarekhuman rightscorruptionEuropean Association of Judges11 January March in WarsawPaweł FilipekMaciej TaborowskiAdam SynakiewiczBelarusstate of emergencyneo-judgescoronavirusXero Flor v. PolandEU treatiesAgnieszka Niklas-BibikSłupsk Regional CourtMaciej Rutkiewiczresolution of 23 January 2020K 6/21Mirosław WróblewskiCivil ChamberJoanna Misztal-KoneckaLeon Kieresright to protestSławomir JęksaPKWWiktor JoachimkowskiRoman GiertychMariusz Kamińskiinfringment actionsurveillanceEU valuesMichał WośMinistry of FinanceCentral Anti-Corruption BureauENCJJacek SasinErnest Bejdalex NGOThe First President of the Supreme Courtcivil societyMaciej CzajkaRussiaMariusz JałoszewskiIsraelŁukasz Radkeforeign agents lawpolexitNational Recovery PlanK 7/21Dolińska-Ficek and Ozimek v PolandOrganization of Security and Co-operation in EuropeFirst President of the Suprme CourtLGBT free zonesequalityChamber of Extraordinary Verificationhate crimeshate speechcriminal codeGrzęda v PolandŻurek v PolandSobczyńska and Others v PolandRafał Trzaskowskimedia lawPrzemysła RadzikSenateMarcin WarchołElżbieta KarskaMarcin RomanowskiJacek CzaputowiczPrzemysław Czarneklegislative practiceENAZbigniew BoniekOmbudsmanKraśnikNorwayNorwegian fundsNorwegian Ministry of Foreign AffairsMichał WawrykiewiczFree CourtsC-487/19Article 6 ECHRArticle 10 ECHRRegional Court in AmsterdamOpenbaar MinisterieUrsula von der LeyenAK judgmentSimpson judgmentForum Współpracy Sędziówpublic broadcastermutual trustLMIrelandIrena MajcherAmsterdamthe Regional Court in WarsawUnited NationsLeszek 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 WyborczaUS 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 WawrzykharrassmentMarian BanaśAlina CzubieniakSupreme Audit OfficeTVNjournalistslexTVNGerard BirgfellerEwa MaciejewskaPolish mediapostal voteKrakówRzeszówDagmara Pawełczyk-Woickaborderpostal vote billprimacy