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Statement of the ENCJ Executive Board concerning judicial reforms in Poland
The ENCJ has been following the situation in Poland closely and has on several occasions called upon the executive to respect the independence of the judiciary, and to undertake reforms to the justice system only after meaningful consultation with the Council for the Judiciary and the judges themselves .
In an opinion drafted at the request of  the National Judicial Council of Poland (Krajowa Rada Sądownictwa – KRS) in relation to draft-legislation that would affect both the composition and functioning of the KRS, the Board of the ENCJ concluded that the draft laws could harm the independence of the judiciary in Poland and that ENCJ standards were not met in several fields . It also stated that these standards are not developed to serve the interests of the judiciary. The standards simply reflect the shared principles and values of the EU Member States which guarantee a proper functioning of a democratic system based on the Rule of Law.
An ENCJ delegation recently met a group of representatives of the Polish judiciary and was informed about the ongoing reform of the judiciary by the governing party. Draft legislation currently being considered by the government 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. In addition, there are reports of regular attacks upon the judiciary in the media by the executive and intimidation of individual judges.
The Board of the ENCJ is gravely concerned by the developments, which are taking place in Poland. The Board wishes to point out that a key requirement for maintaining and enhancing mutual trust between judicial authorities in the EU, as a basis for mutual recognition, is the independence, quality and efficiency of the judicial systems and respect for the rule of law.
The Board of the ENCJ reiterates that the Rule of Law is at the core of the European Union. Respect for the Rule of Law is a prerequisite for the protection of all fundamental values listed in the Treaties, including democracy and fundamental rights. To uphold and protect the Rule of Law is a responsibility for both the judiciary and other state powers. For the effective preservation of the Rule of Law, independent and accountable justice systems are needed. The Board emphasizes that fair and impartial courts are the key institutions of an independent judiciary.
Done in Brussels
26th April 2017

The ENCJ has been following the situation in Poland closely and has on several occasions called upon the executive to respect the independence of the judiciary, and to undertake reforms to the justice system only after meaningful consultation with the Council for the Judiciary and the judges themselves (Warsaw Declaration 3 June 2016).

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2017 EU Justice Scoreboard

The European Commissioner for Justice and Consumers Ms. Vera Jourova presented the 2017 EU Justice Scoreboard on Monday 10th April. eu_justice_scoreboard_2017

According to the Commission this 5th edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard confirms that effective justice systems are essential to build trust in a business and investment-friendly environment in the single market. Ms Jourova therefore encourages Member States to ensure that any justice reform respects the rule of law and judicial independence as this is key for citizens and businesses to fully enjoy their rights. An independent and well-functioning justice system is a fundamental pillar of every democracy.

As with previous editions the ENCJ and its Members collaborated with the European Commission on the Scorebaord specificially in the chapter dealing with Judicial Independence.

 
Statement by the Executive Board on the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome

Brussels, 25th March 2017

On the day that the European Union is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, the ENCJ, which unites the Councils for the Judiciary and similar autonomous bodies from the EU Members States, would like to reiterate the following:

The rule of law is at the core of the European Union. It is one of the fundamental values upon which the EU is founded, together with democracy and fundamental rights. These common values have been debated and settled in legislations and laws, enabling peaceful cooperation for the last 60 years. Respect for the rule of law is a prerequisite for the protection of all fundamental values listed in the Treaties, including democracy and fundamental rights.

To uphold and protect the rule of law is a responsibility for both the judiciary and other state powers. The ENCJ calls on the Member States to respect fair and impartial courts, as the key institutions of an independent judiciary.

For the effective implementation of the rule of law, independent and accountable justice systems are needed. The ENCJ strongly believes that today the network is of vital importance to the further development of judiciaries in Europe. The ENCJ will continue its efforts to promote effective judicial systems in terms of efficiency, quality, independence and accountability for the benefit of all.

 
2016 EU Justice Scoreboard

On 11 April 2016 the European Commission presented the 2016 EU Justice Scoreboard. As in in previous years the ENCJ collaborated with the Commission on some parts of the Scoreboard. In addition to the scoreboard two Flash Eurobarometers were published. Number 435 deals with perceived independence of national courts in the EU Member States by the general public. Number 436 deals with the perception of judicial independence by companies.

The data used in paragraph 3.3.2 of the scoreboard on structural independence were collected through an updated questionnaire drawn up by the European Commission in close association with the ENCJ. Responses from Member States without Councils for theJudiciary were obtained through cooperation with the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the EU. Other data used in this section of the scoreboard are taken from the ENCJ Guide

Responses to the questionnaire per country that were collected through the ENCJ

Belgium                                                     Netherlands
Bulgaria Poland
Croatia Portugal
Denmark Romania
France Slovenia 
Hungary Slovakia
Ireland Spain
Italy CSM / Italy CPGA   Sweden
Latvia UK-England and Wales
Lithuania UK - Northern Ireland
Malta UK- Scotland

 

 
CJEU launches app

The Court of Justice of the European Union launched its application, CVRIA, for smartphones and tablets, which runs under both IOS and Android. The application is available in 23 EU languages which can be selected in the menu by the user. It has four sections:
Case-law: gives easy access to the latest decisions of the Courts of the CJEU (judgments, orders and Opinions);  
Press releases: shows the 10 most recent press releases published by the institution;
Judicial calendar: gives an overview of the hearings, readings of Opinions and deliveries of judgments scheduled for the next five weeks;
Search: gives easy access to all the case-law of the Court. This section allows searches to be made by case number, parties’ names and date and in full text mode.

The application is available in Google Play and the App Store:

 
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05/04/2016 > CCJE and the CCPE publish report on the challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in Council of Europe member States

Report from the CCJE and the CCPE on the main challenges for judicial impartiality and independence in Council of Europe member States The Bureaus of the Consultative Council of European Judges (CCJE [ ... ]


 

 

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