Two Faces of the Polish Supreme Court After “Reforms” of the Judiciary System in Poland: The Question of Judicial Independence and Appointments

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. The “reforms” of the national council of judiciary and the Supreme Court. – III. The Court of Justice judgment. – IV. The EU-friendly face of the Supreme Court. – V. The restrained face of the Supreme Court. – VI. Conclusions.

Abstract: The present Insight compares the decisions of two chambers of the Polish Supreme Court regarding the domestic enforcement, under the terms laid down in the Polish Constitution, of a judgment of the Court of Justice, the independence of the judicial branch and the consequences of a judicial appointment. The starting point for the analysis is an overview of recent reforms of judiciary in Poland and the judgment of the Court of Justice in A.K. (Indépendance de la chambre disciplinaire de la Cour suprême) [GC] (judgement of 19 November 2019, joined cases C-585/18, C-624/18 and C-625/18). The first discussed ruling of the Supreme Court aimed to fully enforce that judgment of the Court of Justice, whereas the second sought to limit its actual impact.

Keywords: independence – impartiality – Court of Justice – Polish Supreme Court – National Council of the Judiciary – Poland.

European Papers, Vol. 5, 2020, No 1, European Forum, Insight of 2 June 2020, pp. 347-362
ISSN 2499-8249 - doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/362

* Max Weber Fellow, European University Institute; Assistant Professor, Kozminski University (Warsaw),


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