Poland Undermining EU Court ruling dangerous

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL  

QUOTE 

14 July 2021 

Poland: Undermining EU Court ruling ‘dangerous’ 

Responding to today’s scandalous decision from the Polish Constitutional Tribunal which found that interim measures, issued by the EU Court of Justice to protect the independence of Polish judiciary, are incompatible with Poland’s Constitution, Draginja Nadaždin, the Director of Amnesty International Poland said: 

“Today’s decision, which in effect decided that Poland can ignore the EU court, is a breach of European law and opens the way for politically motivated criminal proceedings and new disciplinary proceedings against judges in Poland. 

The EU Court of Justice ruled last year and again today that Poland’s Disciplinary Chamber must suspend the cases it is pursuing against judges, because of concerns about its independence and impartiality. Today’s decision shows blatant disregard for the EU’s highest court. 

Currently, Judge Igor Tuleya, known for fighting for the independence of the judiciary in Poland, faces the consequences of having his immunity removed, after being subjected to a politicized court case. Amnesty International considers him a human rights defender. 

“This is a dangerous move for people in Poland, and in particular for Judge Tuleya who now risks criminal charges simply for doing his job,” said Draginja Nadaždin. 

The European Commission should take urgent action to protect the Polish judiciary. They cannot stand by and let Polish authorities cause further damage to human rights and the rule of law in the EU through this politicized Constitutional Tribunal. We call on all EU leaders to strongly condemn these actions and urge Poland to respect human rights and EU law. 

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: 
Alison Abrahams on alison.abrahams@amnesty.org or +32 483 680 812 

Background 

After a number of attacks on judicial independence in Poland the European Commission requested that the EU Court of Justice grant interim measures to suspend the power of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to decide on requests for the lifting of judicial immunity, which it did on 8 April 2020. Just today, the EU Court issued new interim measures regarding a second case the Commission brought on 1 April 2021 against the so-called Muzzle Law 

In November 2020, the Disciplinary Chamber removed the immunity of a Judge of the Regional Court in Warsaw, Igor Tuleya. He may now face criminal proceedings because he permitted media recording of a public hearing. There are also numerous other judges in Poland who are at risk of removal of their immunity by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court.