Poland: ICJ intervenes before European Court in case on Supreme Court’s independence

The ICJ submitted today a third party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights in a key case challenging the independence of the Disciplinary and Extraordinary Chambers of Poland’s Supreme Court.

In the case of Reczkowicz and Others v. Poland, the European Court of Human Rights will consider whether the recently established Disciplinary and Extraordinary Chambers of the Supreme Court of Poland may be considered an “independent and impartial tribunal” in order to satisfy the requirements of the right to a fair trial under article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In its third party intervention, the International Commission of Jurists has submitted that a court cannot be considered as independent whenever the body that has appointed its members lacks guarantees of independence from the executive and legislative powers as enshrined in standards of the Council of Europe and the United Nations, including that at least half of its members be judges elected by their peers.

It further concluded that a court composed by judges appointed by a non-independent body or via a non-independent procedure will not be capable of constituting an independent and impartial tribunal under article 6 ECHR.

Poland- ECtHR-Reczkowicz and Others v Poland – TPI – ICJ – 2020 -ENG (download the third party intervention)


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