The ECtHR and the rule of law crisis: significance of and the resistance against the Court’s case law

The paper will deal with the question of the role of the European Court of Human Rights in the protection of the rule of law in times of the 'rule of law crisis' in Poland and certain other countries of the CEE region. In the first part, a brief analysis of the most important standards of the independence of the judiciary developed in the recent ECtHR case law will be presented. Discussed standards will concern both rights of individuals to have their cases heard by an independent tribunal established by law, as well as the fundamental rights of judges. The second part will focus on the problems with the enforcement of ECtHR judgments in the ‘rule of law cases’. In particular, the resistance against the Court’s rulings, also with the use of arguments referring to the constitutional identity, will be discussed. The emphasis will be placed primarily on the situation in Poland, although examples from other countries of the CEE region will also be presented.