Dear Madam, Sir,
The ENCJ has been following the developments in relation to the judicial reforms in Poland very closely. As you may be aware the ENCJ felt that it had no other option but to suspend the membership of the Krajowa Rada Sadownictwa in September 2018.
The ENCJ considered that judges in a judicial council should be elected by their peers. Although, non-compliance with this standard does not automatically imply that a council is not independent from the executive, in the case of the Polish Council the ENCJ Board found so many additional circumstances that it reached the conclusion that the KRS is no longer independent from the executive. These circumstances included the fact that in the selection process of the judicial members of the KRS the lists of supportive judges have not been made public, and so it cannot be checked whether the list consists primarily of judges seconded to the Ministry of Justice, or of the same 25 judges for every candidate. Even after the request of the Board of the ENCJ, the judicial members of the KRS have not published the list of supporting judges themselves, they have however, provided the ENCJ with a list showing the number of judges they were supported by.
The Board of the ENCJ understands that the publication of the support lists of the judicial members of the KRS has been ordered by the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland in a recent judgement that is now enforceable. The Executive Board of the ENCJ is of the opinion that it is of essential importance
that the lists will be published as soon as possible, and calls upon you, to do so.
For further reference I attach the position paper of the ENCJ Executive Board of August 2018 in which it recommends the suspension of the Krajowa Rada Sadownictwa from the ENCJ.
On behalf of the ENCJ Executive Board
President of the ENCJ