15 May 2018 – The general assembly of the Association of Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union;

  • Expresses its grave concerns over developments in some Member States that threaten to infringe on fundamental principles of the Rule of Law: the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary. It reminds all governments that judicial cooperation and comity between the courts requires mutual trust between jurisdictions with regard to the observance of the Rule of Law in all Member States.
  • Strongly supports its members in protesting any national measures that threaten their independence of the judiciary and the force of law of their judgements.
  • Reaffirms the commitment of all its members to the fundamental principles and common values of the European Union with regard to the Rule of Law as laid down in the treaties and in the Charter of fundamental rights of the European Union.
  • Calls upon all institutions of the European Union and the Member States to observe and defend these principles and values with all available means.

ACA-Europe notes with great concern press reports on a new legislative initiative by the Parliament of the Republic of Poland regarding the legal status of judges. According to that, Polish courts should be prohibited from reviewing the legality of the appointment of judges. Infringements thereof shall lead to disciplinary sanctions up to the dismissal of judges.

ACA-Europe emphasizes that the independence of the courts is an integral part of the right to effective judicial protection and the fundamental right to a fair trial. It is of preeminent importance as a guarantee for the protection of the rights of citizens as well as for the protection of the rule of law and other common European values. 

According to the case law of both the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, the independence of a court is also determined by the mode of appointment of its members. Judicial independence and impartiality therefore presuppose rules which govern the appointment of judges that allow no reasonable doubt as to the imperviousness of the court to external influence and its neutrality with respect to the conflicting interests before it. In its judgment of November 19, 2019, the European Court of Justice repeatedly emphasized the power and obligation of the courts to scrutinize and decide about these issues. A ban on judicial review of the independence of the courts and the legality of the appointment of judges is clearly in contradiction to this. In turn it contravenes judicial independence as well as the rule of law and the requirement of effective legal protection.

ACA-Europe calls upon those who share responsibility in Poland to refrain from acts against judicial independence and from abusing disciplinary procedures against judges to suppress undesired legal opinions.

Leipzig, 20 December 2019

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Klaus Rennert

President of the Association of Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union

Next events

22 May 2022 Rome, Italy, Board
23 May 2022 Rome, Italy, Seminar "Techniques for the protection of private subjects in contrast with public authorities: actions and remedies - liability and compliance"
24 May 2022 Rome, Italy, General Assembly
21 November 2022 Madrid, Spain, Seminar “The application of principles and general clauses in the jurisprudence of administrative courts”

Flash Info

1 March 2022 – Statement of the Board of ACA-Europe on Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine.

 

20 December 2021 – The Board of ACA-Europe endorsed the joint statement of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union (NPSJC), the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ), the European Association of Judges (EAJ), and the Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union (ACA-Europe) on the judicial Independence in reference to the situation in Afghanistan. The aims of the joint statement are to speak out for the judges in Afghanistan and to reiterate the universal values for judicial independence and solidarity among the judiciaries.

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