Beyond Constitutional Conflict – Polish Judiciary in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Ruling of 23 Jan. 2020 on inappropriate composition of courts

On 5.12.2019 the Polish Supreme Court (implementing criteria spelled out by the the CJEU on 19.11.2019) held that its new Disciplinary Chamber is not a tribunal within the meaning of EU law, nor is the National Council of the Judiciary an impartial body independent of the legislative and executive authority. On 23.1.2020 the Supreme Court ruled that judges newly appointed by the President of Poland on proposal of the National Council of the Judiciary shall abstain from any further judicial activity. That ruling was challenged by the Polish President before the Constitutional Tribunal. A judgment likely to contradict the Supreme Court is expected on 3.3.2020. A confrontation of the legal reasoning of the two Courts will question whether the case is a normal dispute on constitutionality or lawfulness of acts of parliament or government or whether Polish young constitutionalism is witnessing disruptive contradictions jeopardizing trust which justice must inspire in a democratic society.