rule of law update- MAY 2022

NEWS FROM THE COURTS 

On 2nd May 2022 the ECtHR published the communicated case Rutkiewicz v. Poland about the suspension of a judge of the Elbląg District Court by decision of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. 

On 28 and 29 June, the Grand Chamber of th CJEU is to hear 6 cases concerning the Rule of Law in Poland. All hearings will be live-streamed via the CJEU website. Reported by Rule of Law in Poland.

EU DEVELOPMENTS

The European Commission presented a proposal to curb the rise of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) in Europe. It includes 

For more visit Euractiv.

The European Parliament has called on the Commission to systematically analyze data on non-compliance with judgements from the ECtHR. Full text adopted here.

SLOVENIA

At the end of April national elections were held in Slovenia, where the previous centre-right Janša government, was often criticised for having used the Covid-pandemic as a pretext to curtail personal freedoms and attack independent institutions such as the judiciary and the media. The outcome of the vote marked a shift toward a more progressive government, which, as far as the rule of law is concerned, will have to deal with issues like corruption, media freedom and SLAPPs. Read more in Euractive and Democracy Reporting International.

On Monday 30th May a one-day strike was organized by journalists at Slovenian public broadcaster RTV Slovenija amid an escalation of tensions between staff and leadership over a series of decisions their trade union says have been politically motivated. Read more at Euractive.

HUNGARY

On 27th April the Commission officially sent a written notification to Hungary because of concerns over persistent misuse of EU funds that ‘affect or seriously risk affecting’ the management of EU funds. According to the procedure foreseen in the Conditionality Regulation, when the Member state receives written communication, it provides the required information and may propose or adopt remedial measures to address the Commission’s findings set out in the written notification within a time limit specified by the Commission, which can be between one and three months from the date of the notification. Hungary will have a two-month deadline to reply to the letter. Read more at Euractiv.

On 24th May, the Hungarian parliament approved amending Article 53 of the Constitution to include “armed conflict, war or humanitarian disaster in a neighbouring country” as circumstances in which the government is empowered to declare a state of emergency. On the same day, Orbán used the powers granted by the amendment to proclaim a state of emergency. For more visit Euractiv.

POLAND 

An agreement between Poland and the Commission has been reached on measures to be taken to unblock funds. These involve abolishing the Disciplinary Camber, reforming the Disciplinary system and reinstating judges before the end of June, but also foresee economic and systemic reforms. Read more at Notes from Poland.

Donald Tusk, leader of the opposition announced the willingness to move a motion of no confidence to the Justice Minister Ziobro, who is considered responsible for the reforms in the judicial system, which proved detrimental to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. Read more at Euractiv.

GREECE

After intensifying laws against journalists, Greece has been listed as the lowest-ranked EU country for press freedom, World Press Freedom Index

ARTICLES, PODCASTS, PAPERS

CER PODCAST: unpicking the EU’s Rule of law conditionality mechanism with Camino Mortera-Martínez and John Morijn

“Daphne’s Law”: The European Commission introduces an anti-SLAPP initiative, Justin Borg-Barthet, eu rule of law analysis, 29 April 2022. 

mta law working papers 2022 – Series of articles on rule of law.  

The Battle for Democracy Can Be Won in Warsaw, By Anna Wojciuk, Foreign Policy Magazine, 3rd May 2022.

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