Protecting Polish judges from Poland’s Disciplinary 'Star Chamber': Commission v Poland. Case C-791/19 R, Order of the Court (Grand Chamber) of 8 April 2020, EU:C:2020:277
19 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2020
Date Written: August 29, 2020
In these proceedings for interim measures, the Commission requested and secured from the European Court of Justice the suspension of the application of the national provisions relating to the powers of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Poland’s Supreme Court – a new body created by the 2017 Law on the Supreme Court in blatant violation of Poland’s Constitution – with regard to disciplinary cases concerning judges.
The Court of Justice’s order in Case C-791/19 R is both significant and unprecedented. It is significant because it makes clear that EU law precludes Member States from setting up national disciplinary bodies which fail themselves to satisfy the guarantees inherent in effective judicial protection. It is unprecedented to the extent that the Court of Justice has demanded the immediate suspension, until delivery of the final judgment, of the processing of all disciplinary cases regarding judges pending before a body which views itself as a court notwithstanding multiple judgments to the contrary by three chambers of Poland’s Supreme Court.
Keywords: Poland, Rule of Law, Judicial Independence, Disciplinary Regime for Judges, EU Law
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