MEDEL

MEDEL welcomes the decision of the European Commission announced on January 14th, 2020, requesting the European Court of Justice to apply Interim Measures in the infringement procedure regarding the disciplinary regime for Polish judges. 

The situation in Poland significantly deteriorated over the last months, with new laws intended to further weaken judicial independence and to effectively forbid the implementation of ECJ rulings in Poland.

Protest march in WarsawMEDEL was present in Warsaw on January 11th, 2020, in the march for the independence of the Judiciary, that gathered more than 25000 people and stretched for 4km.

MEDEL actively participated and had intervention in the press conference before the march.

It was an impressive demonstration of belief in the fundamental values of the Rule of Law and a clear sign to all national and European authorities that those values are at the heart of the European Union and that citizens will never cease fighting for their protection.

MEDEL

MEDEL has signed an open letter about the recent attacks on judges and the independence of the Judiciary in Poland and asking for the adoption of interim measures by the European Court of Justice. The statement is below.

For more than four years, MEDEL has been observing the process of deterioration of the rule of law in Poland. During this time, MEDEL has repeatedly called upon Polish authorities to stop this process, to restore the principle of separation of powers and to ensure the independence of the judiciary.

Our calls remained unanswered. The Government of Poland as well as the President of Poland ignore the appeals of the international community, the verdicts of the European Court of Justice, the verdicts of the Polish Supreme Court and the verdicts of the Polish Supreme Administrative Court. Moreover, the “reforms” in contrary to both – domestic and international law – continue, and all those trying to implement aforementioned rulings, become the subject of a ruthless “disciplinary” regime, become criminals in their own country. The only objective of the Polish government is to reduce the independent judiciary and transform it to yet another strong arm of the executive.

MEDELOn November 19th, 2019, the European Court of Justice delivered a significant decision in a series of “judicial independence” verdicts, initiated with the case Associação Sindical dos Juízes Portugueses v Tribunal de Contas (C- 64/16).

The judgment was delivered on three preliminary questions (C-585/18, C-624/18 and C-625/18) referred by the Labour Law and Social Security Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court and The Supreme Administrative Court.

MEDEL

MEDEL wishes to express its serious concern over the recent developments within the Bulgarian judicial system, in face of the sharp increase in inroads into the independence of the judiciary, through attacks against individual judges and through reform proposals aimed at limiting their freedom of association.

Freedom of speech, that must be ensured everywhere even with regard to criticism directed at judicial decisions, does not give cover to the public allegations addressed by political and institutional actors against the judges of the Sofia Court of Appeal, stating that they would have acted with goals not related to justice when releasing on parole an Australian citizen, and their repeated exposure in the media and in political rallies.  These actions risk instead to cause serious harm to the legitimacy of judicial institutions, by an unacceptable exploitation of the highly emotionalised public reaction to a criminal case.

MEDELMagistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL) wishes to express its serious concern over the recent Project of law on the reorganization of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office, presented by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Moldova.

According to the draft, one of the aims of the intended law is to reduce the number of judges of the Moldavian Supreme Court on the basis of an evaluation made by a newly created “Evaluation Commission”, composed by members appointed mainly by the executive and legislative powers.

Such a Commission intended for the evaluation of judges, especially within the superior law court, and predominantly appointed by the Government, appears to be unapt to ensure an objective evaluation and to respect the guarantees of the statute of judges.

MEDELMagistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés (MEDEL) has been following the recent developments in the judiciary of the Republic of Serbia with much concern.

Frequent filings of criminal and disciplinary charges, as well as numerous media attacks on judges and public prosecutors, have marked the last few months. These judges and public prosecutors have been either speaking freely on the daily issues and challenges regarding the judiciary and the prosecution, or expressing a critical and constructive view on the proposed amendments to the Constitution.

MEDEL

On April 3rd, 2019, the European Commission decided to launch an infringement procedure regarding the new disciplinary regime for judges in Poland.

MEDEL welcomes this decision, stressing that the mechanism of art. 258. TFUE is the only one with the effective potential to reverse the destruction of the Rule of Law in Poland.

The first call from MEDEL to take this action was addressed to the First Vice‑President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, on February 21st, 2019. Today it has become clearly evident that the unprecedented actions that have been undermining judicial independence in Poland need urgent attention.

MEDEL

The situation of the Romanian Judiciary has recently witnessed another episode that reveals the worrying path towards the degradation of the Rule of Law in that country.

MEDEL sees with much concern the revision of the three basic laws of the Judiciary (the Statutes of Judges and Prosecutors, the organisation of Courts and of the Prosecution Service and the organisation of the Superior Council of Magistracy) – that came into force between July and October 2018 – and the proposed changes of the criminal and criminal procedure. As Vice-President Frans Timmermans said in the European Parliament on October 3rd, 2018, these changes put at serious risk the independence and effectiveness of the Judiciary, especially in the fight against corruption.

MEDELMEDEL has addressed on February 20th, 2019, to Frans Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, the letter here below, about the disciplinar proceedings against Judges in Poland.

Your Excellency, MEDEL – Magistrats Européens Pour la Démocratie et les Libertés, (a European Non‑Governmental Organization that currently gathers 23 associations of Judges and Prosecutors coming from 16 different European Countries, representing more than 15.000 magistrates), has been following closely the ongoing attack against the independence of the Judiciary in Poland.

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