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Transferring judges without consent violates independence of judiciary: CJEU

“Poland is a state of law based on the constitution. Attempting to hit the essence, the very heart of the social and legal system stability, is an attempt at a far-reaching destabilisation of this system. Surely, We cannot allow that,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said while commenting on the recent Court of Justice of the European Union verdict (CJEU) regarding the Polish judiciary.

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The EU Court ruled in a preliminary ruling on Wednesday that the transfer of a judge without his consent to another court or between two divisions of the same court may violate the principles of irremovability and independence of judges.

The ruling states that “the order by which a court, ruling at last instance and sitting as a single judge, dismissed the action of a judge transferred against his will, must be declared null and void if the appointment of that single judge took place in clear breach of fundamental rules concerning the establishment and functioning of the judicial system concerned”.

The CJEU justified its judgment as the judicial protection of individuals’ rights which is covered in EU law, maintaining the independence of a “court or tribunal” in the meaning of EU law and ensuring the primacy of EU law.

The details of the ruling can be found here

“If the European court of justice issues a judgment which would result in hundreds of thousands of rulings handed down by the judges appointed in recent years being challenged, then it is necessary to consider what such a judgment leads to,” Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in response to the recent ruling during a press conference.

In his opinion, the CJEU judgment “would hypothetically lead to a very deep chaos”. “Because in hundreds of thousands of court decisions, Polish citizens could not be sure as to the application of the law,” the head of the government added.

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