JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE: EUROPEAN STANDARDS, ECtHR CRITERIA AND THE RESHUFFLING PLAN OF THE JUDICIARY BODIES IN POLAND

In Poland, after the extensive victory earned by Law and Justice (PIS) in the Parliamentary election of 2015, the executive propelled a series of interlock reforms with the aim of reshuffling the whole judicial asset of the country. In the first place, the way forward was marked by a compound diatribe concerning the Constitutional Tribunal, the essence of the dispute was about the mandate’s legitimacy of three sitting judges after the Court’s reinterpretation of the K 34/15 ruling that ended up on 2 December by the election of five new judges appointed ex novo by the ruling party. Afterwards, the attention shifted towards the rethinking of the National Council of Judiciary (KRS), and ultimately, as a closing step, the spotlight turned in the direction of the Supreme Courts judges by lowering their retirement age. This paper argues for the jeopardy of judicial independence in the populist Poland.