Judicial Council not impartial - Supreme Court labour chamber

2019-12-05 19:29 update: 2019-12-06, 21:13
Photo PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Photo PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Poland's National Judicial Council is not impartial and independent, the Polish Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber is not a court, the Supreme Court's Labour Chamber ruled on Thursday in a case on which the court had queried the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) in November.

The Thursday ruling closes one of three cases initiated by Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judges in connection with retirement regulations for judges. All three are the effect of last year's conflict between Poland and the EU around reforms of both courts.

On November 19, in response to the Polish Supreme Court's queries whether its Disciplinary Chamber was sufficiently independent to rule in such cases, the CJEU ruled that it was up to the Polish court to decide on the chamber's independence, and that it could suspend regulations directing such cases to the chamber if it found it to be insufficiently independent.

The Thursday ruling concerned an appeal by a Supreme Administrative Court judge against a National Judicial Council resolution concerning a July 2018 ruling on his further employment. In the ruling, the Supreme Court Labour Chamber, which has taken over proceedings in the three cases, ruled in the appealing judge's favour and waived a motion by the Disciplinary Chamber head to transfer his cases to its jurisdiction.

In a substantiation of the verdict, Supreme Court judge Bohdan Bieniek said it will probably initiate a new line of jurisdiction for the court.

The Supreme Court's Labour Chamber will rule on the remaining two cases on January 15. (PAP)