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Poland voices surprise at no-move by Brussels over Supreme Court law

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 12.12.2018 07:00
A deputy foreign minister has voiced surprise that Brussels is not withdrawing a legal case against Warsaw after Polish parliamentarians approved legislation to reinstate retired Supreme Court judges, according to reports.
Konrad Szymański (right) Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET
Konrad Szymański (right) Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Contested legal reforms in Poland were discussed at a meeting of ministers from EU countries in Brussels on Tuesday.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymański said after the meeting: "I am surprised that after three weeks we can’t hear anything more than two or three sentences about the consequences of the Polish parliament adopting a law on the Supreme Court.”

He added: “This [law] obviously settles all the controversies regarding the Supreme Court.”

Polish parliamentarians last month approved legislation aiming to reinstate retired Supreme Court judges and reverse a move that had triggered a row between Warsaw and Brussels.

The planned change in rules has now gone to Polish President Andrzej Duda for signature.

The new Polish legislation aims to repeal provisions under which judges above the age of 65 were forced into retirement earlier this year.

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 last December 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 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.


Source: IAR/PAP

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