Poland’s judiciary is in conflict with the European Union. The politically-controlled Constitutional Court in Warsaw ruled on Wednesday that the country is not bound to comply with the orders of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ), with which the ECJ seeks to abolish the rule of law in Poland. Notably, the ECJ had already committed on 8 April 2020 to Poland to immediately suspend the activities of the politically dependent disciplinary body which was constituted in 2018 and which is contrary to EU law and which Can dismiss any Polish judge, public prosecutor, notary or lawyer.
Poland defied this ECJ order as well as an emergency decision that the ECJ issued on Wednesday, hours before the decision in Warsaw. With the decision of the Constitutional Court, Poland is intensifying its conflict with the European Union. Wednesday’s decision, which is based on an application from members of the illegal disciplinary body, is likely to be followed by another decision on Thursday: with it, the Constitutional Court possibly, at the request of the prime minister and several government members, the proclamation of the Polish constitution. Rule several articles of the European Union treaty as fundamentally incompatible with. These are the articles that set out the primacy of EU law and the obligation of member states to comply with it.
In return the ECJ will announce the long-awaited decision on disciplinary law for Polish judges on Thursday. Early Wednesday, ECJ Poland issued an urgent decision by its Vice-President Rosario Silva de Lapuerta to suspend all laws and forbid Polish judges from applying European law – and, for example, politically. or judge to question the legality of controlled special courts. Poland can even disobey this order.
In order to widely abolish the rule of law, the Polish government established a politically dependent State Judicial Council (KRS) to select judges and two dependent special chambers in the country’s Supreme Court: since then, A Disciplinary Cell has been able to dismiss any Polish judge, public prosecutor, notary or lawyer, an Extraordinary Supervisory Cell authorized to overrule any final decisions of the past few years.
Warsaw has already ignored several Luxembourg decisions
In November 2019, the ECJ ruled that still independent judges of the Supreme Court in Warsaw could decide on the legality of the disciplinary chamber as well as the selection of the State Judiciary Council and the status of politically controlled appointed judges. In December 2019 and January 2020, these independent judges declared the existence of the Disciplinary Chamber and the State Judicial Council a violation of EU law. The government did not pay heed to it. As a result, the ECJ on 8 April 2020 ordered Poland to immediately cease all activities of the disciplinary body. Warsaw also ignored it.
The Prime Minister of Poland, government representatives and members of the illegal disciplinary body applied to the Constitutional Court in spring 2021 to set the priority of Polish law over European law and suspend compliance with relevant ECJ decisions on the rule of law.