For well over a decade- both before and after Poland’s accession to the European Union- the Constitutional Tribunal has unequivocally and firmly stood by the principle that the Polish Constitution plays a superior role among the sources of law governing our country.
This fundamental assertion existed in conjunction with the principle of Poland’s support for European integration. The constitutional norm according to which the Republic of Poland committed itself to abide by international law has been confirmed and solidified.
The Constitutional Tribunal judgment of July 15, 2021 (P 7/20), which found that the provisions of EU Treaties proclaiming the principle of loyal cooperation of Member States and granting the Court of Justice of the European Union powers to impose interim measures are inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, marks an unjustified change in the previous line of jurisprudence.
Soon, i.e. on August 3, a hearing in the case K 3/21 is to be held before all the judges of the Constitutional Tribunal. The Court will examine en banc the Prime Minister’s motion to declare the provisions of the European Treaties unconstitutional.
These provisions create treaty-based grounds for EU institutions to examine whether the laws introduced by particular member states, including Poland, provide effective protection in areas covered by EU law. Above all, they ensure that the independence of the judiciary and the judges are guaranteed.
The retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal are deeply concerned that a judgment upholding the motion in case K 3/21 will be tantamount to questioning the validity of fundamental provisions of EU law in Poland.
The verdict is to be handed down at the request of the Prime Minister, a member of the European Council, and a constitutional body heading the government, authorized by the Constitution to conduct domestic and foreign policy affairs of the Republic of Poland.
Retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal state that the supremacy of the Polish Constitution is in no way compromised when EU institutions demand respect for the independence of the courts and the independence of judges.
These demands do not go beyond what is granted to them in EU treaties ratified by the Republic of Poland. Moreover, their compatibility with the Polish Constitution has also been confirmed by the Constitutional Tribunal. The powers of EU institutions do not relate to the judicial system, but rather to the qualities that national judges must possess in order to adjudicate in European cases.
Respect for judicial independence and independence of judges is also required by the Polish Constitution (Article 4, Article 45, Article 78, Article 173, Article 178).
It is because of this that the retired judges of the Constitutional Tribunal appeal to the Prime Minister to withdraw his motion, which is possible until the hearing begins.
Concerns are being voiced ever more frequently that our country has reached a critical point in its recent history and that, among other things, the Constitutional Tribunal is the deciding factor as to whether the path our country chose to follow in 1989, based on the principle of a democratic state of law and integration with Western Europe, will not be interrupted.
Our need to take the floor comes from our loyalty to the constitutional oath we took while being appointed to the judiciary, and from our conviction that the Polish raison d'état requires us to not remain silent at this time.
1. Stanisław Biernat
2. Teresa Dębowska-Romanowska
3. Kazimierz Działocha
4. Lech Garlicki
5. Mirosław Granat
6. Wojciech Hermeliński
7. Adam Jamróz
8. Stefan Jaworski
9. Biruta Lewaszkiewicz-Petrykowska
10. Wojciech Łączkowski
11. Ewa Łętowska
12. Marek Mazurkiewicz
13. Andrzej Mączyński
14. Janusz Niemcewicz
15. Małgorzata Pyziak-Szafnicka
16. Stanisław Rymar
17. Ferdynand Rymarz
18. Andrzej Rzepliński
19. Jerzy Stępień
20. Piotr Tuleja
21. Sławomira Wronkowska-Jaśkiewicz
22. Mirosław Wyrzykowski
23. Bohdan Zdziennicki
24. Andrzej Zoll
25. Marek Zubik
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