Local tensions and limited European solutions: the case of judicial independence.

The problems of judicial independence are now most often discussed in relation to Poland. However, the recent ECJ case law has triggered references from other national courts which reveal long-lasting tensions in several jurisdictions regarding judicial independence, appointments, supervision and governance. Contrary to what is argued by commentators, the ECJ appears reluctant to meddle in these tensions and aims at limiting the potentially disruptive impact of its case-law under Art. 19 TEU. The hypothesis is that the EU is normatively constrained by the sundry constitutional traditions regarding judicial organisation. It is necessary to examine, relying on empirical and comparative studies, the level of constitutional consensus in Europe regarding the institutional and procedural mechanisms for upholding judicial independence in order to avoid ill-considered ECJ-led harmonisation of the judicial organisation with concomitant risks for the domestic separation and balance of powers.