The Supranational Entrenchment of Domestic Judiciary Independence: The CJEU and Judges' Remuneration

The CJEU’s case Associação Sindical dos Juízes Portugueses became famous by converting an issue, that might have been seen as a purely domestic one regarding the remuneration of national judges, into a matter of “fields covered by Union Law”. The CJEU perceived national courts as fulfilling, in collaboration with the Court of Justice, a duty of jointly ensuring that, in the interpretation and application of the Treaties, the law is observed. Yet, the decision has also a substantive aspect. The CJEU stated minimum prerequisites for guaranteeing judges’ independence through their remuneration. The Court approved the measures of reducing judges’ remuneration, since they were not exclusively addressed to the judiciary but also to other public office holders, e.g. representatives of the legislature and the executive. Additionally, these measures were temporary in nature. The paper will examine to what extent supranational judges may contribute to domestic judiciary independence.