MEDEL issued a statement today on Advocate General Tanchev's opinions in cases C-487/19 and C-508/19 and the termination of Adam Bodnar's mandate as Polish Ombudsman, decided by the politically captured Polish Constitutional Court.
MEDEL welcomes the opinions delivered on 15 April 2021 by CJEU’s Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev in cases C-487/19 and C-508/19 – requests for preliminary ruling from the Polish Supreme Court.
In both opinions, Advocate General underlined that the right to a tribunal established by law, affirmed by the second subparagraph of Article 19(1) TEU in the light of Article 47 of the Charter, must be interpreted in the sense that a court does not meet the requirements to constitute such a tribunal established by law in a situation where the judge concerned was appointed to that position in flagrant breach of the laws of the Member State.
The guarantees of access to an independent and impartial tribunal previously established by law, and in particular those which determine what constitutes a tribunal and how it is composed, represent the cornerstone of the right to a fair trial. In case the national law provisions give jurisdiction to a body which doesn’t fulfil the criteria of an independent and impartial court, the principle of primacy of EU law must prevail.
MEDEL shares the view that law does not arise from injustice (ex iniuria ius non oritur). Polish authorities take refuge behind arguments based on legal certainty and irremovability of judges, but these arguments – as Advocate General Tanchev expressed - are just a smokescreen, which European Community should be aware of.
It is noteworthy that the position of the referring Supreme Court and of the plaintiffs has been supported by Polish Ombudsman Adam Bodnar, whose arguments were shared by Advocate General Tanchev. This is one of many examples of Adam Bodnar’s wide and extensive activity in the defence and promotion of fundamental rights and rule of law. Unsurprisingly, he became the target of Polish authorities, and it all led to the “verdict” of the politically captured constitutional court of 15 April 2021, forcing his dismissal in 3 months’ time.
MEDEL hereby expresses its full support and solidarity to Adam Bodnar, and honours him as an outstanding human rights defender.
Read the statement here