Commission v. Poland – A Stepping Stone Towards a Strong “Union of Values”?

Commission v. Poland gives the Court not only the opportunity to put ASJP into practice but also to clarify the doctrinal framework for finally addressing the developments in “backsliding” Member States under EU law. This contribution will shed some light on these two uncertainties, suggest ways of how the Court could resolve them and explore the potential repercussions for the EU legal order.

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The legal vs. political route to rule of law enforcement

The outcome of C-619/18 Commission v Poland will affect the current rule of law discourse on three grounds: First, it might exert pressure on the Council to finally act in respect of the Art. 7(1) TEU procedure against Poland. Secondly, the prospect of pecuniary sanctions in light of an Art. 260 TFEU procedure would create an incentive for Poland to (partially) redress the situation. And lastly, the effective functioning of the preliminary ruling procedure could be endangered.

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The first judgment of the ECJ regarding a breach of the rule of law in Poland?

While the judgment in C-619/18 Commission v. Poland is unlikely to deliver a surprise as to the assessment of the Polish ‘reforms’, interesting issues are emerging in relation to the effects of the judgment for the Polish authorities. This piece starts from a brief discussion why the case seems lost for Poland, proceeding then to analysis whether and how the judgment should be implemented.

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Age is the limit? Background of the CJEU case C-619/18 Commission v Poland

Next month the Court of Justice of the European Union will make a decision that is likely going to feature in the future textbooks on European Union law. In the case C-618/19 Commission v Poland, the Court will tackle the topic of judicial independence and the question of whether the standards of the rule of law were violated by the Polish government and parliament and thus address a critical element of European Union’s legal system.

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Is a Microstate about to Provide EU Rule of Law with its Van Gend Moment?

In fifteen years of EU membership, Maltese courts have been remarkably reluctant to refer questions of interpretation to the CJEU. This could be about to change in litigation which could have far-reaching consequences for the direct effect of member states’ rule of law and human rights obligations. The dispute raises important, novel questions concerning the extent to which EU law of a classical constitutional nature could be democratised in much the same manner as the law of the internal market was democratised through Van Gend.

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Is Bulgaria’s Rule of Law about to Die under the European Commission’s Nose? The Country’s Highest-Ranking Judge Fears So

On 17 April 2019, the President of Bulgaria’s Supreme Court of Cassation Lozan Panov was the keynote speaker at a yearly event dedicated to court independence. In his speech, Panov painted a vivid, yet gruesome picture of Bulgaria’s rule of law which is about to die like an oblivious frog in a pan of hot water reaching tipping point. Sadly, EU institutions have been turning a blind eye to the troublesome developments in Bulgaria for far too long.

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What Does the Spring Bring for the Rule of Law in Europe?

The Hungarian minister of justice requested the opinion of the Venice Commission on two bills establishing a new administrative court system in November 2018. Yet, before the Venice Commission got to have its say, the twin laws were adopted in December 2018, with the new courts expected to commence their work in January 2020.

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Rule of Law Implications for Supranational Military Cooperation

The intergovernmental component based on international law principles remains quite strong in this policy field. However, the Council appears as a key decision-making body with regard to launching EU military missions, and determining the structural details (command and control). This certainly raises the question on which level of the multi-level legal system effective rule-of-protection mechanisms are in fact embedded.

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From Constitutional to Political Justice: The Tragic Trajectories of the Polish Constitutional Court

The Polish Constitutional Court, once a proud institution and an effective check on the will of the majority, is now a shell of its former self. The constitutional scars of the capture affect not only the legitimacy of the institution, but also the very constitutionality of the “decisions” rendered by the new court in 2017-2018.

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