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Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber to carry on work despite CJEU ruling

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

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TVN24 News in English, PAP, tvn24.pl, Reuters
EU top court rules Polish disciplinary chamber for judges violates EU lawTVN24
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TVN24EU top court rules Polish disciplinary chamber for judges violates EU law

"I'm deeply convinced that the Disciplinary Chamber is fully independent in its jurisdiction" - the First President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Manowska said in a statement. She also informed about revoking an ordinance issued by the previous Chief Justice on executing a CJEU ruling from April 8, 2020.

In April 2020, the CJEU told Poland to immediately suspend applying regulations allowing the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber to discipline Polish judges. The motion in that regard had been submitted by the European Commission. The ruling in that case was passed on Thursday - the Court of Justice of the European Union said that the system of disciplining judges was not compatible with the EU law.

On Friday, the First President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Manowska issued a statement in which she said she "is deeply convinced that the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court is fully independent in its legal jurisdiction, and judges of this Chamber are fully independent in adjudicating".

Poland's Chief Justice also informed about revoking an ordinance issued by her predecessor on May 5, 2020, to execute the order by the CJEU from April 8 to implement interim measures.

According to the said ordinance issued by the then acting Chief Justice Kamil Zaradkiewicz, all disciplinary proceedings launched against judges were to be halted until the Constitutional Court has issued its ruling or the ordinance termination date has passed.

In Friday's statement, judge Manowska stressed that the EU treaties "clearly indicate" that Poland did not delegate the EU the authority to making laws organising the justice system in that country.

"Exclusive authority to shape the institutional framework for functioning of the justice system belong to the Polish Legislator, and in the light of controversy and emotions sparked by this issue, it's high time for this authority to be exercised, bearing in mind the common good of the citizens, namely the Republic of Poland," the First President of the Supreme Court wrote.

The top court of the European Union ruled on Thursday that Poland's system for disciplining judges was not compatible with the bloc's laws. The Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the EU said the new disciplinary chamber set up at Poland's Supreme Court as part of an overhaul of its judiciary "does not provide all the guarantees of impartiality and independence".

Justices call for a meeting

Part of the Supreme Court Justices on Friday called for a special session of the court council, in order to adopt joint a position regarding Thursday's ruling by the CJEU on the contested Disciplinary Chamber.

To address the issue, Supreme Court Justice Marta Romańska wrote to the Chief Justice Małgorzata Manowska. She called for "immediate scheduling of a Supreme Court council session, in order for this body to adopt a position" on the CJEU ruling from July 15, as well as "regarding the way, the First President of the Supreme Court publicly reacted to this ruling".

Judge Romańska added that her request was also backed by the following Supreme Court Justices: Dariusz Zawistowski, Michał Laskowski, Józef Iwulski, Agnieszka Piotrowska, Dariusz Dończyk, Bohdan Bieniek, Jarosław Maras, Tomasz Artymiuk and Krzysztof Rączka.

"Due to the nature of the matter". she called for the meeting to be held on Monday, July 19, at the latest.

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Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, tvn24.pl, Reuters

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