Poland’s transfer of judge without his consent undermines judicial independence, EU court rules

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The transfer of a decide to a different courtroom, or one other division in the same courtroom towards their will, is “probably capable of undermining the rules of the irremovability of judges and judicial independence,” the Courtroom of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on Wednesday in response to a query from Poland’s supreme courtroom.

The Polish Supreme Courtroom asked the CJEU to rule on the Regional Courtroom of Krakow’s president’s name to transfer decide Waldemar Żurek from a piece of the courtroom to another with out his consent.

“Such transfers might constitute a method of exercising control over the content of judicial selections as a result of they are probably not only to have an effect on the scope of instances allocated to judges and the handling of instances entrusted to them, but in addition to have vital penalties on the life and profession of those persons and, thus, to have results just like those of a disciplinary sanction,” the CJEU stated in its ruling.

The CJEU additionally stated a decide from the Supreme Courtroom’s newly created Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs Chamber, who single-handedly dismissed Żurek’s case in 2019, was appointed by the National Council of Judiciary (KRS) “in clear disregard of the elemental procedural guidelines for the appointment of judges to the [Supreme Court].”

The KRS was already the subject of a March ruling from the CJEU who stated modifications to the best way it appointed Polish Supreme Courtroom judges might infringe EU regulation.

The CJEU is now also saying that the preliminary dismissal of Żurek’s case needs to be “declared null and void if the appointment of that single decide occurred in clear breach of elementary guidelines,” which means any determination taken by a decide just lately appointed by the KRS might be disputed on these grounds.

This judgment “might hypothetically result in very deep chaos,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated in a press conference on Wednesday.

“In a whole lot of hundreds of instances, Polish citizens could not be ensured of the appliance of the regulation,” he added. “Obviously, we can't permit this.”

The EU courtroom’s ruling is simply a referral, and reminds that its judgment is “subject to the ultimate assessments to be made by the [Polish] courtroom.”

The ruling marks another step within the rule-of-law conflict between Brussels and Warsaw over the independence of Poland’s judiciary system. In September, the Fee wanted Poland to be fined over ignoring orders from the EU’s excessive courtroom.

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