POSTS BY Stanisław Biernat

Though this be Madness, yet there’s Method in’t: Pitting the Polish Constitutional Tribunal against the Luxembourg Court

At the beginning of October 2018, Poland’s Prosecutor General submitted a request to the Constitutional Tribunal to examine the compliance of Article 267 TFEU with the Polish Constitution, so far as it allows the referral of preliminary questions regarding the organization of the national judiciary. Despite the relatively easy identification of motives underlying the application, there is need for analysis and evaluation of the contents of the application as well as the argumentation used as justification for this task, not least because there is a lot at stake.

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Why the Polish Supreme Court’s Reference on Judicial Independence to the CJEU is Admissible after all

On August 2nd 2018, the Polish Supreme Court has referred questions to the European Court of Justice about whether or not the forced retirement of most of its senior judges and other infringements of judicial independence are compatible with EU law. That decision is a landmark step in the serious constitutional crisis in Poland that has been going on for several years. One issue is of fundamental importance: Is the SC’s preliminary reference  to the CJEU admissible?

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How to Assess the Independence of Member State Courts?

Immediately after it was published, the judgment in Case C‑216/18 PPU Minister for Justice and Equality v. LM generated many varied assessments in Poland.  Some commentators treated the judgment as a general vote of no confidence against the Polish judiciary whilst others (including the Minister of Justice) found it to be a defeat of the Irish court. The judgment is used as an argument in current political disputes. Leaving aside, however, the aforementioned determinants, it is to be concluded that because of its approach to certain significant issues, the judgment does not yield to an unequivocal interpretation, and its actual consequences are still hard to anticipate.

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