The Supreme Administrative Court has repealed subsequent resolutions of the National Council of the Judiciary on the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court. The court heard seven cases. In six cases the appointment was made to the Disciplinary Chamber, in one – to the Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber.
As reported in the court’s announcement, the rulings were issued on Monday. Their content and justification are not yet available in the judgment database. As in the case of previous judgments, the decisions were made in closed session.
Six cases heard by the court are appeals to the Disciplinary Chamber regarding the resolution of the National Council of the Judiciary of August 23, 2018, the last one concerns the appointment to the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs and the resolution of August 28, 2018. The resolutions have been partially repealed.
The NSA has already examined several cases of this type
So far, the Supreme Administrative Court has examined several cases of this type – they concerned appointments to the Criminal Chamber, Civil Chamber and the Chamber of Control. The last judgments on six cases were made at the end of September.
As the representative of one of the candidates for a judge of the Supreme Court, attorney Michał Jabłoński, repealing the resolution, the Supreme Administrative Court discontinued the proceedings before this body regarding the appointment of judges of the Supreme Court in the Control Chamber. – 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.
Earlier decisions of the Supreme Administrative Court: the current National Council of the Judiciary is not sufficiently independent
In May, the Supreme Administrative Court repealed the 2018 resolutions of the National Court Register and discontinued the proceedings regarding the appointment of judges to the Civil Chamber and the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court. In the justification of those judgments, the Supreme Administrative Court assessed that “the present 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 issued an opinion in relation to the appeals against the resolutions of the National Council of the Judiciary on the appointment of judges. When examining such appeals, the Supreme Administrative Court referred questions for a preliminary ruling by the CJEU. In March, the EU tribunal ruled that “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 presenting to the president applications for the appointment of candidates for Supreme Court judges, may violate European Union 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: Radek Pietruszka / PAP