EU humiliated as Polish judges tear up European court’s power: ‘Rule of law wins!’

, EU humiliated as Polish judges tear up European court’s power: ‘Rule of law wins!’, The Habari News
, EU humiliated as Polish judges tear up European court’s power: ‘Rule of law wins!’, The Habari News

Poland‘s Constitutional Tribunal said on Wednesday that the European Court of Human Rights had no power to question its appointment of judges, rejecting a ruling by Europe’s top human rights court in May.

Dismissed by critics as a politicised body, the Constitutional Tribunal has already sparked a crisis in the European Union this year by ruling that parts of the bloc’s treaties are incompatible with the Polish constitution.

Though part of the Council of Europe and separate from the institutions of the European Union, the ECHR lies behind many of the general principles of EU law, so this will come as yet another blow to the bloc.

Judge Julia Przylebska, the head of the Polish Tribunal, said that “Article 6 of the Convention … as far as it includes the Constitutional Tribunal in its definition of a court, is not compatible” with the Polish constitution.

She said the article was unconstitutional in as far as it gave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) the right to assess the legality of the appointment of the Tribunal’s judges.

In May the ECHR ruled that a company had been denied its right to a proper hearing due to the illegal appointment of a Constitutional Tribunal judge.

In Wednesday’s ruling, the Tribunal said it was not a court under the Convention as it controls the hierarchy of laws and does not rule on individuals’ rights.

, EU humiliated as Polish judges tear up European court’s power: ‘Rule of law wins!’, The Habari News

Reacting to the ruling, secretary general of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejcinovic Buric said: “All 47 Council of Europe member states, including Poland, have undertaken to secure the rights and freedoms set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, as interpreted by the ECHR.

“Member states are also obliged to implement the European Court’s judgments.

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Poland’s nationalist government says its judicial reforms are intended to sweep away remnants of communist influence and bring to heel judges who think they are above the law.

A cabinet minister welcomed the Tribunal’s ruling on Wednesday.

Michal Wojcik wrote on Twitter: “Today, the rule of law has won over the usurpation of competences.”

The Council of Europe is an organisation which was formed after World War Two to protect human rights and the rule of law.