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FOR Communication 24/2019: What do we know after the Court of Justice ruling on the Supreme Court case?

  • On 24 June 2019 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on the European Commission's complaint against Poland concerning the lowering of the retirement age of Supreme Court judges and making further decisions conditional on the President's decision.
  • This is the first time in history that the CJEU has found that a Member State has violated the principles of independence and the non-removal of judges.
  • Contrary to what the politicians of the ruling majority claimed, the withdrawal from the 'purge' in the Supreme Court did not prevent the Court of Justice from ruling that the Polish government violated EU law.
  • The judgment clearly indicates where the Member States' freedom of organisation of the judiciary ends, but also under what circumstances the legislator may retire judges.
  • In its judgment, the Court of Justice appears to suggest that it is also ready to address the issue of politicization of the new National Council of the Judiciary.
  • These are only the first of a dozen or so judgments concerning the Polish judiciary which will be delivered by the Court of Justice within the next several months.


Patryk Wachowiech, legal analyst
[email protected]

See also:
Patryk Wachowiec