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Monday, September 27, 2021

The Polish government responds to the European Commission on CJEU rulings. Statement from the Government Information Center

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On August 16, 2021, the European Commission received a reply to the letter of Commissioner D. Reyders of July 20, concerning the recent rulings of the Court of Justice of the EU – the decision of August 14 this year. on the application of an interim measure in case C-204/21 R and the judgment of 15 July this year in case C-791/19, in which the Commissioner also drew attention to the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 14 July this year. in case P 7/20. Referring to the doubts of the Commission related to the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 14 July this year in case P 7/20, in the reply it was pointed out that the Constitutional Tribunal has been reviewing the constitutionality of EU law since Poland’s accession to the European Union, emphasizing that the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, in accordance with its Art. 8 sec. 1, is the highest law in Poland, and its supremacy over statutes and ratified international agreements also results from the principle of national sovereignty, established in Art. 4 sec. 1 of the Constitution. The response included a summary of the Polish jurisprudence of the Constitutional Tribunal from 2005-2021 and recalled over a dozen of the most important judgments of the constitutional courts of other Member States (including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Romania and Spain) in similar cases. It was noted that the judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal and other national constitutional courts had not raised any doubts on the part of the European Commission so far. It was indicated that the problem of the relationship between national law and EU law occurs in many Member States, whose constitutional courts emphasize the primacy of national constitutions in their jurisprudence and adopt a strict definition of the scope of competences entrusted to the European Union. Moreover, the Commission was informed about the orders of the First President of the Supreme Court, pursuant to which the Disciplinary Chamber will not refer new cases concerning judges to the Supreme Court for examination. It was emphasized that the government had no measures which, without violating the principle of the independence of the judiciary, could suspend the operation of the court chamber and the effects of its decisions. The response also indicated that the ineffectiveness of the system of criminal and disciplinary liability of judges has been a problem of the Polish justice system for many years and one of the reasons for low trust in it in Polish society. The effectiveness of the system of disciplinary liability of judges and other legal professionals is fundamental to the trust and credibility of the judiciary in every Member State. Such a system must meet the criteria of impartiality and legal certainty, as well as ensure the right to a fair trial, which is also pointed out by the Court of Justice in its judgment of 15 July this year. Therefore, Poland will continue reforms of the judiciary, also in the areas of judges’ responsibility, aimed at improving the efficiency of this system. In this context, the plans to dismantle the Disciplinary Chamber in its current form were announced as part of the next phase of judicial reform, which is expected to start in the coming months. At the same time, the Commission was informed that Poland exercised its procedural rights by submitting a motion to set aside the ruling of the Court of Justice of August 14 this year. on the application of an interim measure in case C-204/21 R concerning the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. The application is based on the judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal of 14 July this year. in case P 7/20.



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