Polish PM queries top court about EU law/constitution primacy

Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister, has asked the country's Constitutional Tribunal to decide whether the Polish constitution has primacy over EU law.

In early March, Morawiecki said he would make the move after the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that EU law is superior to the Polish constitution.

"The complaint was filed with the Constitutional Tribunal today," said the government spokesman, Piotr Mueller.

Responding to a query from Poland's Supreme Administrative Court, the CJEU said on March 2: "Should the national court come to the conclusion that the adoption of the 2019 legislative amendments infringed EU law, the principle of the primacy of that right requires that court to refrain from complying with those amendments."

The EU court's ruling could call into question the legitimacy of some of the appointments to Poland’s top courts, and give support to the country’s courts if they wish to challenge the appointments.

Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party have made a number of changes to the country’s judicial system since taking power in 2015. The party claims they are needed to improve the courts' efficiency but critics argue they are part of an orchestrated plot by Law and Justice to gain influence and control over the judiciary.

The overhaul, according to critics, has effectively banned candidates for top judicial positions from questioning in court decisions made by the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), a body which is now dominated by political nominees.

The Constitutional Tribunal's ruling on the issue could also add further friction to a dispute between Warsaw and Brussels over adherence to the rule of law by the EU’s biggest post-communist country.