Logo Polskiego Radia

EU court ruling with ‘no practical significance’ for Poland: FM

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 25.06.2019 01:00
A ruling by the European Union's top court that Poland’s lowering of the retirement age for judges was unlawful has "no practical significance” because the country has since reversed the move, its foreign minister has said.
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek CzaputowiczPolish Foreign Minister Jacek CzaputowiczPhoto: gov.pl

Jacek Czaputowicz was speaking after the Court of Justice of the European Union on Monday ruled that an overhaul of Poland’s judicial system that forced a third of its Supreme Court judges into early retirement broke EU law.

Czaputowicz added that Poland had already complied with an interim injunction by the court.

The EU court said in a statement on Monday that lowering the retirement age of Polish Supreme Court judges was “not justified by a legitimate objective and undermines the principle of the irremovability of judges, that principle being essential to their independence."

When asked about the court's pronouncement, Czaputowicz told broadcaster Polsat News that "the ruling has been issued, but it will have no practical significance in Poland, because we have already adapted to the interim injunction."

He added: "Those judges are working, and [the latest ruling] will have no practical consequences in Poland."

Czaputowicz told Polsat News that, while rulings by the top EU court are important, Monday’s ruling "carries no significance" for his country.

"We will take no action," he added.

Poland’s president in December signed into law a plan to reinstate retired Supreme Court judges. His signature came after the country’s parliamentarians in November approved legislation aiming to reinstate retired justices and reverse a move that had triggered a row between Warsaw and Brussels.

The Court of Justice of the European Union in October issued an interim injunction ruling that the contested reforms to Poland’s Supreme Court should be suspended.

In July, the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, launched a procedure against Warsaw over the reform, arguing that it undermined “the principle of judicial independence, including the irremovability of judges.”

That move followed the European Commission in December 2017 taking the unprecedented step of triggering Article 7 of the EU Treaty against Poland, stepping up pressure on Warsaw over judicial reforms and possibly paving the way for sanctions being imposed on Poland.

Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in late 2015, has said that sweeping changes are needed to reform an inefficient and sometimes corrupt judicial system tainted by the communist past.

The European Commission earlier this year said it was launching an infringement procedure against Warsaw over new disciplinary rules for judges, the latest step in a protracted row over alleged rule-of-law breaches in Poland.


Source: PAP

Copyright © Polskie Radio S.A About Us Contact Us