CJEU: judges who respect human rights are not welcome

pabelbreitekleiner1200pix.jpgStrange goings-on at the CJEU: Katharina Pabel, a highly respected professor for European Law who had been proposed by the Austrian government as a new judge at the EU’s supreme judiciary institution has, after a hearing with the Committee under Article 255 TFEU, withdrawn her candidacy. It was reported that she had a “bad feeling” after the panel hearing and wished to avoid a situation in which the panel would have issued any formal recommendation not to appoint her.

Given that Mrs. Pabel has herself decided to withdraw, she is under no obligation to explain her decision. Furthermore, the Art. 255 panel, which has been set up under the Lisbon Treaty to ensure that candidates for the posts of CJEU judges, but whose existence is probably not even known to most citizens, meets behind closed doors and neither publishes any detailed minutes of its meetings, nor any reasons for its recommendations. (You can see here what you get if you want access to one of the Committee’s opinions…) The whole affair therefore remains shrouded in mystery – except that a prominent member of the Austrian Socialists, Andreas Schieder, has crowed that “an arch-conservative lawyer like Mrs. Pabel, who does not accept that abortion is a human right for women”, was “lacking the expertise” required for a CJEU judge. This gives a hint at what was going on behind the scenes: the panel hearing must have been an act of pre-emptive mobbing at the behest of some pro-abortion lobby.

It is hardly credible that Mrs. Pabel, a highly respected academic, is lacking any expertise – especially if compared with the sitting Austrian judge, Maria Berger, who prior to her appointment had neither any experience as a judge nor as an academic teacher – but who, as a member of the Socialist Women’s Movement, is known to the public as a highly profiled pro-abortion politician. The under-qualified Mrs. Berger will thus continue her term until a new judge is found.

It seems thus that the only “expertise” that is required for being appointed as a judge at the CJEU is to subscribe to the social agendas of the hard-core radical left. Genuine commitment to human rights apparently is a ground for exclusion, believing that killing innocent children is a “human right” for women is a mandatory requirement.

This definitely sheds a queer light on the CJEU as an institution, as well as the way in which its judges are appointed. The panel was originally thought of as a security valve to ensure that judges had the necessary qualifications, and to avoid cronyism and purely political appointments. But already then the political left made sure that no clear and transparent criteria to judge a candidate on were laid down  – and nowadays it uses the mechanism to ensure that only political appointees with radical agendas can be appointed as judges. It clearly seems that some of the panel members are acting on orders they are receiving from socialist or green party secretariats. This might help to explain otherwise inexplicable CJEU decisions, such as the recent judgment that imposes on Member States an obligation to grant special rights to same-sex “spouses”, even if their domestic legislation does not recognize sodo-“marriage”.

If the CJEU wants to regain its credibility, the appointment of judges should be reformed: at a first stage, the selection should take place on the basis of anonymized procedures, written tests – and if, at a second stage, a candidature is rejected for political reasons, those making such a decision must be held to make their reasons known  – such as in the US, where the radical left is at least obliged to exhibit its bigotry to the public and pay the price for it (in terms of lost elections).