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Poland / Supreme Court / III UZP 4/18

Polish Security Insurance Institution (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, ZUS) v. D.Ś.

Policy area:
Employment and social policy
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Supreme Court
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

D.Ś. was self-employed and ran a wedding fashion salon. In 2010-2011 he was employed in Slovakia and he filed to Slovak social insurance institution a motion to verify which law is applicable. The institution decided that he does not have to pay social insurance in Poland while he works in Slovakia. However in 2015 the Polish Social Insurance Institution decided that D.Ś. had to pay his social insurance fee in respect to period of 2010-2011. In 2018 the case was brought to the Supreme Court, which decided to hear the case in 7-judges bench (case no. III UZP 10/18). In August 2018 the Supreme Court decided to suspend the proceedings and request CJEU for preliminary ruling concerning compatibility of the new Law on the Supreme Court with the EU law. The Court decided also to apply interim measure – to suspend the legal provisions allowing for removing judges from bench until CJEU issues the ruling.

Key legal question raised by the Court:

Is mandatory lowering the retirement age of judges in the bench compatible with the right to fair trial (Article 47 CFR)?

Outcome of the case:

Decision to request for preliminary ruling was broadly criticized by politicians, who were arguing that the Supreme Court was not entitled to suspend the effectiveness of relelvant legal provisions. In August 2018 the prosecutor office joined the case pending before the Supreme Court and in September 2018 the Polish Social Insurance decided to witdraw the appeal from the Supreme Court. As a consequence most probably the case will be dimessed and the request for preliminary ruling will be withdrawn. In  October 2018 the Supreme Court decided to ask the CJEU the same preliminary questions in a different civil case.