In Courts we Trust? The CJEU Judgment of 19 November 2019 (A.K. and Others) and its Systemic Implementation.

On 19 November 2019, the Grand Chamber of the CJEU delivered the preliminary ruling in case A.K. and others regarding the independence of judges of the Supreme Court Disciplinary Chamber, and, indirectly, the National Council of Judiciary. The judgment marks the beginning of another chapter of the rule of law crisis in Poland. It turned out to be much more nuanced and argumentatively sophisticated than the opinion of the AG Tanchev, as the CJEU decided to apply the appearance of the independence test previously introduced in the ECHR case-law. The paper aims to analyse advantages and disadvantages of such an approach, taking into account both the ongoing legal and political struggle over implementation of the CJEU judgment in Poland (Supreme Court’s and Supreme Administrative Court’s rulings, “muzzle law”, disciplinary proceedings against judges) as well as the potential application of the test with regard to the judiciary of other EU Member States.