On Monday 24 June 2019, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘the Court’) delivered its judgment on the new retirement law for the Polish Supreme Court (ECLI:EU:C:2019:531). It declared that the Republic of Poland has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law.
Niek van de Pasch
Continue reading Court of Justice disapproves reform of Polish Supreme Court
Judges for Judges has been following for some time now the case of Ukrainian judge Larysa Holnyk who has been targeted for taking a stand against corruption. Earlier this year she received a Special Recognition Award from Blueprint for Free Speech: “Her case shows the limitations of anti-corruption policies in protecting individual whistleblowers at risk, and the importance of a judiciary that is independent and incorruptible.”
It is important to keep track to Larysa Holnyk’s story. Ukraine is going through a challenging period of judicial reform and the implementation of newly-adopted legislation with the aim of ensuring indepence, fairness and effectiveness of the judiciary in line with Council of Europe standards. But a society that has been riddled with corruption for years obviously cannot be changed overnight. Judge-whistleblower Larysa Holnyk shares her story on her ongoing fight to obtain justice with us.
Continue reading Whistleblowing in Ukraine: Judge Larysa Holnyk, an update
On 5 and 6 December the conference Judicial independence under threat? – organized by the Council of Europe and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – took place in Strasbourg. Both Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and our board member Ybo Buruma were present at this conference. The question regarding when and under what conditions the European Court of Human Rights will provide an effective remedy for dismissed and detained Turkish judges inspired them both to write a column.
Continue reading Turkish judges in Strasbourg: an effective remedy?
The mere number of imprisoned Turkish judges is so intimidating, that a very special gesture is necessary if judicial independence in Turkey is to be protected. Would it not be preferable to deal with the cases in Strasbourg even before all the domestic remedies have been exhausted? Judges for Judges board member Ybo Buruma has the impression that the European Court of Human Rights does not wish to follow this line of reasoning.
Continue reading Imprisoned judges and judicial independence
The UN’s Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego García-Sayán has been particularly affected by the visible lack of action on the part of the exemplary European Court of Human Rights regarding the serious violations of human rights in Turkey. With hundreds of judges still imprisoned, organisations of lawyers destroyed and their members also in prison, it is alarming that the Court is acting as if judicial institutions and legal defence are still functioning normally.
Continue reading Anniversaries: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Eind januari schoof Esther de Rooij als internationaal waarnemer aan bij een mediation tussen rechter Larysa Holnyk en haar collega’s bij de rechtbank in het Oekraïense Poltava. Zij doet namens Rechters voor Rechters verslag van deze bemiddeling.
Continue reading Mediation Oekraïense rechter Larysa Holnyk
The President of the National Board of the Polish Judges Association ‘Iustitia’ Krystian Markiewicz urges Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans to start an infringement procedure against Poland. In his opinion, the Court of Justice of the European Union should be able to evaluate the regulations concerning the disciplinary proceedings against Polish judges and the actions of the politically dependent National Council of the Judiciary. This letter is available in full on our website.
Continue reading A Letter from the Polish Judges Association to Frans Timmermans
Een rechtbank die weinig tot niets zei, geen enkele vraag stelde en alle verzoeken afwees. Een herhaling van het ritueel, dat we ook de voorgaande zittingen hebben gezien. De verdachte en zijn vier advocaten kregen alle ruimte, maar er werd niets mee gedaan. Een eindbeslissing zonder dat de verdediging haar pleidooi heeft gehouden. Dit is het verslag van de laatste zittingsdag in de rechtszaak tegen de Turkse rechter Murat Arslan.
Continue reading De laatste zittingsdag van Murat Arslan
Yesterday, Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize Winner Murat Arslan, President of the Independent Turkish Judges Association YARSAV, has been convicted under charges of being member of an armed terrorist organization (namely of being active member of FETÖ/PDY) and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
The Platform for an Independent Turkish Judiciary, that assembles the four most representative associations of judges in Europe (AEAJ, EAJ, J4J and Medel), has prepared a public statement on this unlawful conviction.
Continue reading Criminal conviction of Mr Murat Arslan
Murat Arslan, de voorzitter van Yarsav, de verboden onafhankelijke Turkse rechtersvereniging zit sinds oktober 2016 in voorlopige hechtenis in afwachting van zijn proces. Op 2 november 2017 was bij de 25 ste Strafkamer van de rechtbank in Ankara de eerste zittingsdag. Inmiddels zijn we op 7 december 2018 bij de zevende zittingsdag aanbeland. Namens Rechters voor Rechters was Evert van der Molen aanwezig.
Continue reading Zevende dag proces Murat Arslan