Bits and pieces of judicial control of the independence of the judiciary

Since 2018 the Court of Justice has been the leading actor in the shaping and protection of the rule of law in Member States, by transforming what was previously a mere presumption and a political intention enshrined in the Treaties into an operative and substantial principle subject to judicial control. Several provisions have been called upon to serve as bases for the control of the judiciary independence: art. 19 TEU (Portuguese Judges case), art. 267 TFEU (IS case ) and art. 47 of the CFR (AK case). To avoid both overlaps and gaps in the principle’s adjudication, time has come to clearly identify situations able to trigger each of the provisions and to ask whether a consistent analysis is being performed by the CJ. A specific note in this respect has to be made on the comparison between general judicial reasoning about the rule of law and the criteria developed by the Court in regards to the refusal of execution of an EAW.