MEDEL statement on the situation of the Judiciary in MontenegroThe current Constitutional and legal provisions of Montenegro related to the election of members of the Judicial Council seriously violate the principles of independence and impartiality of the Montenegrin judiciary, situation that breaches the principles of the Rule of law.

The Montenegrin judiciary is threatened by a blockade, due to the inability to secure the necessary two- thirds majority for the election of members of the Judicial Council among the prominent lawyers.

MEDEL statement on the constitutional reform in SerbiaIn light of the process of constitutional amendments in Serbia with regard to the judiciary and the prosecutorial service

Having in mind the proposed solutions in the 13th April 2018 Draft Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and the Draft of the Constitutional Law

Recalling to the unjustifiable violation of the Rule of Law undertaken in 2009 by “re-election” of all judges, prosecutors and deputies of public prosecutors and in 2011/2012 during the review of the re-election

Endorsing the Opinion of the Consultative Council of European Judges Bureau of 4 May 2018

MEDEL – Magistrats Européens pour la Démocratie et les Libertés, emphasises the following :

MEDEL statement on the interference of Secret Services in the Romanian JudiciaryOn its Council of Administration held in Brussels on May 25th, 2018, MEDEL approved the following statement regarding the interference of the Secret Services in the Romanian Judiciary.

On the eve of the Council of Administration, the Bureau of MEDEL met with Mr. Emmanuel Crabit, Director of Fundamental Rights and Rule of Law of the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission. In that meeting, various subjects were addressed regarding the current threats to the Independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law in Europe, and a report made by the Romanian Judges Association on that matter (which can be found here) was personaly delivered.

MEDELMEDEL pronounced the 23rd of May as the alert day for the independence of justice in Europe, remembering the anniversary of the assassination of the Italian Judge Giovanni Falcone by the Mafia in 1992.

On this date, we are invited to reflect on the need for an independent and effective justice all over Europe and its importance for the safeguard of European citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms. All European citizens must be remembered of the essentiality of an independent judiciary, able to protect the basic freedoms and rights all over Europe.

MEDELMEDEL will hold its next Council of Administration in Brussels, on the 25th of May, at the Palais de la Justice.

On Saturday, May 26th, MEDEL and AED - Association of European Democratic Lawyers, will co-organise the international conference "THE INDEPENDENCE OF JUSTICE IN EUROPE: LAWYERS/MAGISTRATES/DUO/DUEL”.

Comunicado sobre las injerencias políticas en el Poder Judicial y en el Tribunal ConstitucionalDe forma constante nos vemos obligados a recordar el informe anual de la Comisión Europea sobre el estado de la justicia en los países de la Unión Europea. España figura como el tercer Estado donde un mayor porcentaje de personas percibe que la justicia no es independiente. Hasta un 58% de los españoles la consideran como “mala” (39%) o “muy mala” (19%), lo que supone que sólo dos de los 28 países están peor: Bulgaria y Eslovaquia. Según el citado estudio, son las “interferencias y presiones del Gobierno y políticas” el primer motivo de la percepción de la falta de independencia aducido por la ciudadanía.

MEDELWith deep concern and regret MEDEL maintains its view presented in the statement of July 18th, 2017 on the reform of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Council in Poland. Unfortunately, the rule of law in Poland is even at higher risk than it was five months ago. The act on the system of common courts, adopted on July 28th, 2017 empowers the Minister of Justice to revoke current Presidents of all levels of all ordinary courts without any justification, based on his arbitrary decision. 33 presidents were dismissed so far, usually by a single-sentence fax sent overnight.

The retirement age of judges has been decreased to 60 years for women and 65 for men, with mandatory dismissal of the judge from the post when reaching retirement age. A judge may only keep the post upon arbitrary permission of the Minister of Justice.

MEDELMEDEL (Magistrats européens pour la démocratie et les libertés) wishes to express its deep concern on the Bill amending and supplementing the Judiciary Act passed at first hearing by the Bulgarian Parliament.

In its letter dated 25 July 2016 to the Speaker of Bulgarian Parliament, MEDEL stated the reasons against the introduction of the requirement for magistrates (judges and prosecutors) to declare their membership to professional organisations. Such requirement unreasonably limits their right to free association as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

MEDELMEDEL has been following with an increasing concern the development of the situation in Poland. Only on 1st July 2017, the General Assembly of MEDEL adopted a communiqué on the Constitutional Court in Poland, calling the EU institutions to continue the dialogue with Polish authorities in order to restore the Rule of Law. Since then, the governing majority in Poland has taken further steps to weaken the judicial independence which will deeply undermine the fundaments of the democratic rule of law state.

On 12th July 2017, Sejm – the lower chamber of the Polish Parliament - adopted the laws amending the Law on the National Judicial Council and the Law on Common Courts. They were already confirmed by the higher chamber of the Parliament (Senat), acting in hasty proceedings, without proper debate and consideration, and now both laws are waiting for the signature of the President of the state. The Law on the National Judicial Council provides inter alia the expiry of the term of office of its judicial members and the election of the new ones not by their peers, but by politicians.

JusticeDeclaration of all the former Presidents of the Constitutional Court of Poland on the recent laws put forward by the government, that undermine the Rule of Law.

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