Marco Fisicaro

The Court of Justice in the Hall of Mirrors: The Principle of Judicial Independence Between Art. 267 TFEU, Art. 19 TEU and Art. 47 of the Charter

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: judicial independence; preliminary reference procedure; admissibility criteria; notion of ‘court or tribunal’; tribunal established by law; rule of law.

On 29 March 2022, the Court of Justice (Grand Chamber) delivered its judgment in the case Getin Noble Bank (C-132/20). The case provided the Court with the opportunity to clarify a rather obscure aspect of its recent case law on the principle of judicial independence: i.e. the relation between independence as an admissibility criterion under art. 267 TFUE on the one hand, and the independence requirement under art. 19 TEU and/or art. 47 of the Charter on the other. This comment focuses on the main admissibility issue raised by the case: can a national judge, whose appointment to his judicial office is allegedly irregular on the ground of a flagrant breach of national law, be qualified as a ‘court or tribunal’ under art. 267 TFEU and thus submit an admissible request for a preliminary ruling? While the final decision to declare the request admissible appears reasonable, the Court’s reasoning is not entirely convincing as it fails to take account of the fundamentally different functions performed by judicial independence under art. 267 TFEU, art. 19 TEU, and art. 47 of the Charter.

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