Poland Suffers New Blow at Top EU Court Over Judicial Reforms

Poland suffered a new setback over its sweeping judicial reforms, this time in a European Union ruling targeting oversight of judges’ applications for jobs at the nation’s Supreme Court.

A series of changes to Polish rules on the National Council of the Judiciary, “which have the effect of removing effective judicial review of that council’s decisions” concerning new candidates for the nation’s Supreme Court “are liable to infringe EU law,” the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Tuesday.

The case follows a series of controversial judicial reforms in Poland that cast doubt on the rule of law in the nation and have since led to numerous challenges by the European Commission and national tribunals seeking guidance from the EU courts.

A Polish tribunal in 2018 sought the EU judges’ views on the legality of moves that stripped potential candidates in some cases of means to appeal negative decisions by the National Council of the Judiciary, a panel that has selected several hundred judges to numerous courts.

The case is: C-824/18, A.B., C.D., E.F., G.H., I.J. v. Krajowa Rada Sadownictwa.

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