On 26 April 2017, the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (the ‘ENCJ’) issued a press release expressing grave concern about developments which are taking place in Poland in relation to the judiciary in that country. This press release can be found at https://www.encj.eu/. It appears, in particular, that draft legislation currently being considered includes: the possible dismissal of all presidents and vice-presidents of common courts and subsequent appointment of new presidents by the executive; the setting up of disciplinary chambers consisting of peoples’ representatives in the Supreme Court; and the dismissal of the presidents and a substantial number of judges of the Supreme Court.
The Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union has likewise recently drawn attention to the position in Poland. In its press release, which can be found at http://network-presidents.eu/sites/default/files/StatementPoland.pdf, the Network has explained that it shares the “concern on the rule of law in Poland voiced by the European Commission and the Venice Commission and expresses solidarity with the Polish judiciary”.
As a body which represents independent judges in England and Wales and with no political role, the Judges’ Council of England and Wales is similarly concerned about the reported situation in Poland and any impact on judicial independence.
For more information on Judges Council contact the Judicial Press Office 020 7073 4852