CJEU ruling on Polish judge should be ignored says justice minister
Poland’s justice minister has dismissed a ruling by the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in favour of a Polish judge, calling it "a political declaration" that "should be ignored."
The comments by Zbigniew Ziobro, a noted critic of the EU, come as the latest twist in a protracted saga that has added to long-standing tensions between the EU and Warsaw over a raft of changes to the Polish judicial system made by the current government which Brussels claims are a threat to the rule of law in Poland.
On Thursday, the CJEU in Luxembourg ruled in favour of Igor Tuleya, a Polish judge suspended in 2018 for more than two years for allegedly disclosing sensitive details of a court proceeding.
The verdict followed Tuleya's complaints against the suspension.
In the Thursday judgement the CJEU obliged Polish courts to dis-apply an act ordering Tuleya's suspension from his duties, which the CJEU said had been issued "in breach of EU law."
The CJEU ruled that a 2020 resolution adopted by the Polish Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber, "whose independence and impartiality were not guaranteed," authorising the initiation of criminal proceedings against Tuleya while also suspending him from his judicial duties infringed EU law.
The court also stated that Tuleya should be reassigned the cases taken from him as a result of the Disciplinary Chamber's decision.
Commenting on the CJEU's judgement, Ziobro, who is also prosecutor general, said on Thursday that no external body could order any Polish officials to break the Polish constitution and circumvent the Constitutional Court's judgments.
"For this reason alone, it can be said that this so-called ruling (by the CJEU - PAP) is not binding and cannot have any consequences for the Polish legal system," he said. "It should be ignored as a political declaration."
Ziobro further argued that a corruption scandal in the European Parliament, widely reported by the media, has not yet been clarified. According to him, no action is being taken in a case that could determine, he claimed, which CJEU judgments were made under influence.
"In this situation, it is difficult to treat the CJEU seriously as a court," continued Ziobro. "Apart from the fact that the persons indicated as the so-called judges in the CJEU are appointed by politicians of individual countries... Thereby, it is a purely political body involved in political scandals that have not yet been clarified."
"No body, especially a political, compromised, corrupt one, can say that the Polish constitution can be ignored and that the Polish Constitutional Tribunal can be ignored," he continued.
On July 6, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg said in its ruling that in suspending Tuleya Poland violated several articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The court also noted that there had been no legal basis for the measures against Tuleya.
The Strasbourg court ruled that the judge should be paid PLN 30,000 (EUR 7,000) in damages plus compensation for his legal expenses.
The ECHR remarked that the case originated in Poland's new disciplinary regime for judges, and stressed that the Disciplinary Chamber which had taken the decision to suspend the judge "was not an independent and impartial tribunal established by law" for the purposes of the Convention.
The court also said that Tuleya's case had to be seen in context, notably that he was one of the most outspoken critics of judicial reforms in Poland.
d be ignored."