Press release

ACA-Europe notes with great concern press reports on a new legislative initiative by the Parliament of the Republic of Poland regarding the legal status of judges. According to that, Polish courts should be prohibited from reviewing the legality of the appointment of judges. Infringements thereof shall lead to disciplinary sanctions up to the dismissal of judges.

ACA-Europe emphasizes that the independence of the courts is an integral part of the right to effective judicial protection and the fundamental right to a fair trial. It is of preeminent importance as a guarantee for the protection of the rights of citizens as well as for the protection of the rule of law and other common European values. 

According to the case law of both the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, the independence of a court is also determined by the mode of appointment of its members. Judicial independence and impartiality therefore presuppose rules which govern the appointment of judges that allow no reasonable doubt as to the imperviousness of the court to external influence and its neutrality with respect to the conflicting interests before it. In its judgment of November 19, 2019, the European Court of Justice repeatedly emphasized the power and obligation of the courts to scrutinize and decide about these issues. A ban on judicial review of the independence of the courts and the legality of the appointment of judges is clearly in contradiction to this. In turn it contravenes judicial independence as well as the rule of law and the requirement of effective legal protection.

ACA-Europe calls upon those who share responsibility in Poland to refrain from acts against judicial independence and from abusing disciplinary procedures against judges to suppress undesired legal opinions.

Leipzig, 20 December 2019

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert

President of the Association of Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union

Next events

10-12 March 2021 Leipzig, Germany, Seminar "Harmonising Administrative Legal Documentation in Europe"
31 May 2021 Leipzig, Germany, Colloquium "ReNEUAL II"
1 June 2021 Leipzig, Germany, General Assembly
Autumn 2021 Fiesole, Italy, Seminar “Law, Courts and guidelines for the public administration”
December 2021 Paris, France, Seminar “The Judicial review of Regulatory Authorities”

Flash Info

13 May 2019 – On May 13, 2019, the ACA-Europe delegation was received by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on the sidelines of the Berlin seminar on “Functions of and Access to Supreme Administrative Courts”. A written record of the speech by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier can be found online in English, French and German.

Resolution

15 May 2018 – The general assembly of the Association of Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union;

  • Expresses its grave concerns over developments in some Member States that threaten to infringe on fundamental principles of the Rule of Law: the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. It reminds all governments that judicial cooperation and comity between the courts requires mutual trust between jurisdictions with regard to the observance of the Rule of Law in all Member States.
  • Strongly supports its members in protesting any national measures that threaten their independence of the judiciary and the force of law of their judgements.
  • Reaffirms the commitment of all its members to the fundamental principles and common values of the European Union with regard to the Rule of Law as laid down in the treaties and in the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union.
  • Calls upon all institutions of the European Union and the Member States to observe and defend these principles and values with all available means.
 
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