Justice ministry wants to take Germany to CJEU

Poland’s Ministry of Justice announced that it would request the government to refer a lawsuit to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) against Germany for violating EU treaties in connection with the politicisation of the local judiciary.

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The ministry argues that Poland is wrongly accused of politicising its own judiciary, while in Germany, only politicians decide about the selection of judges to the Polish equivalent of the Supreme Court.

At a press conference, Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta pointed out that judges have the leading voice in the selection of judges in Poland - unlike in Germany. He went on to say that in Poland, the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), the body that decides on the selection of judges, consists of 17 judges out of 25 members. In turn, in the German model, 16 members are state ministers, and another 16 are appointed by the federal parliament, Bundestag.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said that within the European community, the law should apply to everyone in the same way. As he added, he hopes that a possible judgment of the CJEU in this case will make it possible to convince oneself that there are no equal and more equal states.

The motion is only a recommendation and it is not known whether the Council of Ministers will adopt it.

The legal grounds of the complaint would be Article 259 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, stating that a Member State may bring a case to the CJEU against another EU country, should it fail to fulfil its treaty obligations.

The Minister of Justice recommends that the case be given an accelerated procedure. He also expects an interim measure by suspending the rules on judicial appointments in Germany until the case is heard by the CJEU - just like in the cases concerning Poland.