Source of Polish law is constitution: Justice Ministry response to Advocate General

The Justice Ministry announced that it strongly opposed the opinion of the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Evgeni Tanchev, who said that Polish legislation regarding the system of disciplinary liability of judges would be contrary to EU law and that the CJEU should rule accordingly.

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The ruling will follow the European Commission's decision in October 2019 to take Poland to the CJEU. The Commission argued that a Disciplinary Chamber under the Polish Supreme Court, set up in 2017, violated judicial independence and thus ran against EU law.

Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta assessed that the opinion expressed by the Advocate General is “another attempt to interfere with the sovereignty of the Polish judiciary.”

In his opinion, Maciej Szpunar, the first advocate general and former deputy foreign minister in Donald Tusk's government (PM in years 2007-2014), plays “a certain role in the attacks of the CJEU against Poland.”

The Ministry of Justice pointed out that the provision cited by Mr Tanchev as allegedly inconsistent with EU law has been in force since 2001. It was not a problem when Poland joined the Union, nor was it changed by the present government.

“The overriding source of law in Poland is the constitution. The EU treaties do not allow the CJEU to interfere with the legal system or the internal law of any of the EU Member States,” the Justice Ministry announced.

“Soon the Polish Constitutional Court will adjudicate on the competences of the CJEU,” the ministry added.

“This verdict will decide whether the actions of the CJEU, especially the ‘torpedoing’ of the reform of the judiciary in Poland, are allowed. For us, the judgment of the Constitutional Court will be binding,” Mr Kaleta said.