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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Constitutional Court. Prosecutor General for discontinuation by the Constitutional Tribunal of the case concerning the full bench

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In a written position submitted to the Constitutional Tribunal, the Prosecutor General advocated the Tribunal’s discontinuation of the case initiated by the application of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and concerning the full composition of the Constitutional Tribunal.

The Prime Minister’s motion concerns the constitutionality of one of the provisions of the Act on the Organization and Proceedings before the Constitutional Tribunal (Article 37; Paragraph 2, first sentence). This provision provides that “hearing a case in full bench requires the participation of at least eleven judges of the Tribunal”. There are 15 judges in the Constitutional Tribunal. “Any regulations that exclude or limit the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal constitute a violation of the constitution,” the prime minister indicated in the application.

The position of the Attorney General

However, as it was noted in the position of the prosecutor general – signed by the deputy of the GUT Robert Hernand – in the request of the head of the government “it has not been clearly demonstrated that it is the challenged regulation that is the source of the presented constitutional problem, i.e. depriving the Constitutional Tribunal of the ability to efficiently perform all functions and tasks designated under the constitution”.

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“In the event of refusal to adjudicate by some judges, the direct reason for the inability to complete the full bench is not the challenged regulation, but the attitude of specific judges” – emphasized in this position.

Trial postponed

On Wednesday, the Constitutional Tribunal, at a hearing composed of five judges, was to deal with the Prime Minister’s request. On that day, Judge Bartłomiej Sochański, the chairman of the adjudicating panel, informed that before the hearing, the Constitutional Tribunal had received a written statement from the Prosecutor General. However, as he added, the Constitutional Tribunal has not yet received a written position of the Sejm, and no representative of this body attended the session.

“The Tribunal states that the position of the Sejm, i.e. the body that issued the normative act that is the subject of the proceedings, on this matter is necessary for further proceedings,” said Judge Sochański. Therefore, the Tribunal set a deadline of 21 days for the Sejm to present this position and adjourned the hearing until 7 September.

Constitutional Tribunal about the Constitutional Tribunal. A few minutes of sitting and the trial postponed. New date and 3 weeks for the Sejm

Dispute in the Constitutional Tribunal

For several months, a dispute has been going on in the Constitutional Tribunal over the term of office of Julia Przyłębska as the President of the Tribunal, which makes it difficult for the Tribunal to assemble a full bench of 11 judges. The full composition of the Tribunal must on the January amendment to the law on the Supreme Court, at the request of the president, which Andrzej Duda referred to the Tribunal in February under the preventive control procedure. The amendment to the provisions on the Supreme Court has – according to PIS – complete the key “milestone” for the European Commission to unlock funds for the implementation of the National Recovery Plan.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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