Poland’s Top Court Ruling Marks Major Challenge To EU Laws

Poland’s top court has rejected the principle of the primacy of EU law over national legislation in certain judicial matters, in a major challenge to the EU’s legal framework.

The Constitutional Tribunal says some EU treaty articles were incompatible with Poland’s constitution.Polish judges, says it should not use EU law to question the independence of their peers.

The EU’s executive body says the ruling raised “serious concerns”.And also, the European Commission says, “EU law has primacy over national law, including constitutional provisions.”

All rulings by the European Court of Justice are binding on all member states’ authorities, including national courts,” it added, warning that it would “not hesitate to make use of its powers under the treaties to safeguard the uniform application and integrity of Union law”.

The legal challenge was brought by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

It was the first time in the history of the 27-strong EU bloc that a leader of a member state had questioned wholesale EU treaties in a constitutional court.

MrMorawiecki brought the challenge in March after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the new system of selecting judges in Poland – introduced in 2018 by the governing coalition – infringed EU law.

MrMorawiecki wanted to prevent Polish judges from using EU law to question the legitimacy of judges appointed following recent changes to the judiciary.

Those changes have been criticised by the European Commission and many international legal bodies for undermining judicial independence and increasing political control over courts.

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal is now dominated by judges that are sympathetic to the governing Law and Justice party (PiS), some of whom are former party members.

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