İrem GÖL -TDO- The European Union opened a new legal case against the nationalist Polish government over what it said was the muzzling of judges in the bloc’s largest ex-communist countries. The EU has long accused the ruling Law and Justice party of undermining Polish democracy by increasing direct state control over the courts, media and civic society, although the party rejects the charges.

The European Commission said it was giving Poland two months to address its concerns about a law introduced earlier this year that would allow punishing judges who criticise the government’s reforms of the judicial system. Vera Jourova from the executive Commission said: “There are risks that the provisions regarding the disciplinary regime against judges can be used for politicak control of the content of judicial decisions.”

If Poland refuses to budge, then the Commission can sue Poland in the European Court of Justice, which could eventually lead to hefty fines as well as a court order telling Polish government to change tack. Recently, there have been many cases against Poland for not abiding with the European values, especially the rule of law.

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