POLAND’S SUPREME COURT WARNS THAT POLAND’S JUDICIAL REFORMS MAY PUT EU MEMBERSHIP AT RISK


19/12/2019




İrem UZUN -TDO- The country's Supreme Court has warned that Poland could have to leave the EU over its judicial reform proposals. The proposals would allow judges to be dismissed if they questioned the government's judicial reforms. Judges say the proposals threaten the primacy of EU law and could be an attempt to gag the judiciary.

The court said the plans could contravene European law and exacerbate existing tensions between Brussels and Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS). “Contradictions between Polish law and EU law...will in all likelihood lead to an intervention by the EU institutions regarding infringement of the EU treaties, and in the longer perspective will lead to the need to leave the European Union,” Supreme Court said in a statement.

The statement comes after the European Court of Justice asked Poland's Supreme Court to rule whether parts of the reforms would be free from political influence. The top court concluded that the independence of a new judicial council and disciplinary chamber could not be guaranteed. Furthermore, the judges said the proposed bill was "evidently" designed to allow President Andrzej Duda, a PiS ally, to select a new head of the Supreme Court ahead of next May's presidential election. The European Commission has already launched rule-of-law investigations against Poland and Hungary over their attempts to bring courts and media under tighter state control.


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