The Supreme Administrative Court revoked the resolution of the National Council of the Judiciary on the nomination of judges to the Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber of the Supreme Court. It is a resolution of August 2018 in which the National Council of the Judiciary presented the president with 20 candidates for judges of the Supreme Audit Office of Public Affairs of the Supreme Court. Among them were, among others, the current president of this Chamber, Joanna Lemańska, and the spokesman of the Supreme Court, Aleksander Stępkowski.
According to the database of judgments, the Supreme Administrative Court in six judgments issued on Tuesday in closed session revoked the resolution in part. As is clear from the operative part of these judgments, the Supreme Administrative Court discontinued the proceedings before the National Court Register. The court has not yet published the reasons for the judgments.
These decisions were also announced by Michał Jabłoński, attorney of one of the candidates for judge of the Supreme Court, who appealed to the court. As he said, the Supreme Administrative Court, by repealing the resolution of the National Council of the Judiciary, discontinued the proceedings before this body regarding the appointment of SN judges in the Chamber of Control. – This means serious doubts as to the validity of the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, taking into account that there is no resolution giving rise to their appointment, and the constitution provides that judges are appointed by the president at the request of the National Council of the Judiciary, which in this case does not exist, and in fact in my opinion it never was – pointed out the lawyer.
In his opinion, persons appointed under this resolution to the Chamber of Control should consider refraining from adjudicating. – If these persons continue to adjudicate, there is a risk that their judgments will be seriously flawed or non-existent – added attorney Jabłoński.
This is another such ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court
These are not the first judgments of the Supreme Administrative Court on resolutions of the National Council of the Judiciary concerning appointments to the Supreme Court. In May, the Supreme Administrative Court repealed the 2018 resolutions of the National Court Register. and discontinued the proceedings on the appointment of judges to the Civil Chamber and the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court. In the justification, the Supreme Administrative Court assessed that “the current National Council of the Judiciary is not a sufficiently independent body”. However, the Supreme Administrative Court decided then that the nominations of Supreme Court judges remain valid, as the results of the judgments do not relate to the effectiveness of the presidential acts of appointing judges.
The Court of Justice of the European Union also commented on the appeals against the resolutions of the National Council of the Judiciary on the appointment of judges. NSA considering such appeals asked the CJEU for a preliminary ruling. In March this year, the EU the tribunal adjudicatedthat “subsequent amendments to the Act on the National Council of the Judiciary, which led to the abolition of effective judicial control of the Council’s decisions on submitting motions to the president for the appointment of candidates for Supreme Court judges, may violate EU law.” According to the CJEU, if a national court finds that these changes infringe EU law, it is obliged to refrain from applying these provisions.
Main photo source: Rafał Guz / PAP