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Constitutional Court cancels hearing at Ombudsman’s request

As reported by, following the motion by the Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar, to exclude Judge Justyn Piskorski from the judging panel, the Constitutional Court (TK) canceled the hearing regarding the Supreme Court’s question concerning the application of interim measures by the CJEU. The new hearing is scheduled for June 15.

The TK began hearing the case in late April, then adjourned it until May 13. The judging panel consists of five judges: chairman Krystyna Pawłowicz, rapporteur Bartłomiej Sochański and judges Stanisław Piotrowicz, Zbigniew Jędrzejewski and Justyn Piskorski.

On Tuesday, Adam Bodnar applied for the exclusion of judge Justyn Piskorski from the judging Panel. Consequently, the TK canceled the hearing scheduled for Thursday and set the new date for June 15.

The issue considered by the TK was formulated by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court (SN) over a year ago. The subject is “the assessment of compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of the provisions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to the obligation of a Member State by the Court of Justice of the EU to implement interim measures in cases concerning the organisation and functioning of constitutional organs of the judiciary.” Interim measures are a kind of security granted until the ruling by the CJEU.

The question was directed after the decision issued on April 8 last year. by the CJEU. The EU Court then decided to oblige Poland to immediately suspend the application of the provisions relating to the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court in disciplinary cases against judges.

The European Commission has requested a temporary suspension pending a final judgment. The Disciplinary Chamber, considering the judge’s immunity case, decided to suspend it and refer a question to the TK regarding compliance with the adjudicated interim measures.

In support of the question, it indicated, inter alia, that Poland was obliged by the CJEU to implement interim measures relating to the shape of the system and functioning of the judiciary “despite the fact that these cases were not transferred to the European Union and its organs under an international agreement”.

In the opinion of the Disciplinary Chamber, this violates the constitutional principles of conferring competences on an international organisation and causes the state to act in breach of the principle of a democratic state ruled by law and the principle of legality.

In response to the TK on this matter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that there are no legal grounds to declare the challenged provisions unconstitutional in their entirety, but the interim measures applied by the CJEU raise a fundamental objection by the Ministry.

The Public Prosecutor General requested that the obligation of an EU Member State to implement interim measures relating to the shape of the system and the functioning of the constitutional organs of the judiciary be declared unconstitutional. In turn, the Ombudsman applied for the case to be discontinued by the TK “due to the inadmissibility of issuing the judgment.” In Adam Bodnar’s opinion, the TK does not have the authority to evaluate CJEU judgments.

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