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FOR Communication 33/2019: The Disciplinary Chamber and the new National Council of the Judiciary under the EU pillory: the consequences of the CJEU judgment of 19 November 2019


  • The ruling of the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) concerning the Disciplinary Chamber and the new National Council of the Judiciary (KRS) is another ruling concerning changes in the Polish judiciary in recent years. It answers only some of the doubts, and further answers are expected in 2020.
  • The CJEU itself could not explicitly state that the Disciplinary Chamber and the new NCJ are incompatible with EU law, as it is not allowed to do so by the specific nature of the preliminary ruling procedure (dialogue between national courts and the CJEU) - the EU court responds to the courts' questions on the interpretation of EU law, and does not explicitly state that national solutions are incompatible with EU legislation.
  • In its ruling, the CJEU once again reaffirmed that the organisation of justice in a Member State must comply with EU law, including guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary. Due to the fact that there may be a need to interpret or apply EU law potentially in every case before a court, this applies to all courts in Poland.
  • In response to the doubts of the Supreme Court, the CJEU indicated that, in order to verify whether the Disciplinary Chamber is an independent court within the meaning of Union law, it should carry out an assessment of the manner in which the new NCJ was established and how it exercised its powers, and in what circumstances the Disciplinary Chamber was established.
  • The judgment of the CJEU should enable, among others, the disclosure of letters of support to the new NCJ, which, despite the final court ruling, are still hidden from public opinion.


Patryk Wachowiec, legal analyst
[email protected]