The aim of the paper is to analyse how the idea of mutual trust can function in times of rule of law crisis. So far, as stated in the LM case, the national judicial authority can question the premiss that the criminal courts of the other Member States meet the requirements of effective judicial protection only in exceptional cases. In order to do that it has to conduct a two-step test allowing to identify a real risk of breach of the right to a fair trial. Recent situation in Poland, where the judiciary becomes more and more dependent on the governing majority, raises a question if that approach is optimum. It will be argued that it may be accepted, however the crucial issue is the relation between a general and specific risk assessment. The more serious and numerous are systemic problems regarding independence, the less important become the specific aspects of a criminal case. At a certain level the latter simply cannot compensate for the general deficiencies of the judicial system.