Leftists in togas


Take a look at your home libraries and think about who you would be if you read all the books you have on the shelves. And yet – as you probably know – there are still many, many more of these books. This somewhat inspiring, somewhat depressing reflection has been with me since childhood. Now I am transferring it to my profession, i.e. to the profession of a lawyer.

This is how I am thinking of the courts and their case law. And especially about the great, wise European courts, i.e. the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg and the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg. For the needs of the Rzeczpospolita daily, I undertook a review of the most important court decisions concerning discrimination, in particular employment discrimination. Both courts are undoubtedly elite courts, also in terms of the selection and election of judges. Of course, individual judges are delegated and appointed by individual countries, so the political subtext is here anyway, no less, a relatively common rule is that individual countries do not want to be stupid and usually appoint quite outstanding lawyers to both institutions. Or simply the most outstanding. For example, in the CJEU, the Polish judge – nominated for a second term in April 2015, that is before PiS – is Marek Safjan (although his term is about to end), relatively widely regarded as, perhaps, the most outstanding Polish lawyer. Unless, of course, such a nomination exists. The judgments of these courts are adopted in Poland, but most of all it concerns politically hot judgments, such as those concerning the Disciplinary Chamber or Swiss franc loans.

The so-called populus, however, is only interested in the conclusion. Hardly anyone, apart from scientists, reads these judgments in full. These judgments are based primarily on the captivating clarity of the methodology, because they contain, in extenso, the provisions referred to by the court. I used to say it’s an artificial procedure, but now I’m thinking – but why not? Judgments are written not only for lawyers who are always able to check everything. Above all, however, the tone and content of the judgments, especially the CJEU, i.e. the EU court, are extraordinary. The allegation that the attitude of this court is leftist is, in my opinion, fully justified, although in a superficial sense. The judgments of European courts have a clear direction towards the defense of democracy, the equality of individual rights, especially the protection of the weaker, and protection against corporate supremacy. If one or three values ​​were selected from each judgment, on which a particular judgment is based, we would get an ideological map of the European Union in its most progressive sense. I wonder how it is done, I mean interesting – why in the sense that it is probably not possible for all judges of both Tribunals to be selected on the basis of the same political and ideological toolkit, which we would call leftist.

But somehow it is so that mature law is leftist. For some, this may be a cause for concern, but for others, such as me, a reason for fascination.


About Author

I am a lawyer with thirty years of experience, in my first professional life I was a journalist. But in my every life I am most attracted to curiosity, discovering new lands, and secondly - convincing people to do what is wise, good or beautiful. I will also let myself be convinced of these three things.

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