The CJEU declared as inadmissible the preliminary questions of Polish judges
The Court of Justice of the European Union shared Poland’s stance supported by the European Commission and the Advocate General of the CJEU that references for a preliminary ruling are inadmissible. The Court of Justice has declared today (26 March 2020) inadmissibility of two such references, which concerned Polish provisions from 2017 establishing the system of disciplinary proceedings against judges. These references were submitted to the Court of Justice by judges Igor Tuleya and Ewa Maciejewska.
The Ministry of Justice welcomes the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, it is compliant with the position of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Justice. The judges’ inadmissible references had negative impact on the Polish justice system. It should be stressed out that the submission of preliminary questions to the CJEU caused the extension of court proceedings in Poland, which seriously affected parties to the proceedings. The rights of citizens whose cases are being considered by the court must wait longer for the result of the proceedings due to references submitted by the judges.
The Court of Justice indicated that disputes in proceedings before national courts to which the references pertain do not show any connection with the EU law, which causes that the references are inadmissible. The CJEU judges also added that although questions concerning the interpretation of rules of procedure of the European Union law, which the national court was obliged to apply, are admissible, preliminary questions submitted within the considered joined cases do not concern such a situation.
What is extremely important, questions submitted by the Polish judges are of a general nature, as a result of which and due to which references for a preliminary ruling should be considered inadmissible.
The Court of Justice ruled on the admissibility of two references for a preliminary ruling (judgement in joined cases C-558/18 and C-563/18). In this scope, the Court of Justice noted as a preliminary point that, pursuant to Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a preliminary ruling must be “necessary” to allow the referring court to “issue the judgement” in the case pending before it. The above court cases concerned a dispute between the Polish commune of Łowicz and the State Treasury regarding the claim for the payment of targeted subsidies and criminal proceedings pending against three persons accused of offences committed between 2002 and 2003.
Judges submitting preliminary questions wrongly indicated that the model of disciplinary proceedings established in Poland constitutes for the legislative and executive authorities a measure for removing judges whose decisions are not reliable for them and to influence judgements issued by courts. It is therefore clear that the authors of preliminary questions to the CJEU were driven mainly not by substantive, but by political motives.
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