The Court of justice has recently been seized of several cases regarding the independence of the judiciary in some Member States namely in Poland, Romania, Hungary and Malta.
The cases concerning Romania can be divided into two major groups, of which in six cases belonging to the first group the Court held the hearing in January 2020. These cases touch on, first, the independence of the body competent to hear procedures concerning the disciplinary and ethical liability of Romanian judges, second, the conditions of the functioning of the specific section within the prosecutors’ office responsible for investigating into offences committed within the judiciary and, third, national legislation on the pecuniary liability of Romanian judges for damage resulting from judicial errors caused by the performance of their duties in bad faith or with gross negligence. The Advocate’s General Opinion in these cases will be read out on 23 September 2020.
The second group of Romanian cases, in which the hearing will be held now, relates to the question whether the independence of the judiciary in Romania is impaired by the fact that a body not forming part of the judiciary, namely the constitutional court, allegedly interferes, by way of individual decisions, into the functioning of Romanian ordinary courts.
The Court of Justice announced, on 3 September 2020, the annulment of the hearing.