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EU takes Poland to court over judicial independence concerns – Times of India


BRUSSELS: The European Union is referring Poland to Europe’s high court over lengthy-standing concerns about respect for the rule of regulation and the independence of the nation’s Supreme Court judges, EU officers stated on Wednesday.
The bloc’s government fee stated it’ll ask the European Court of Justice to order interim measures till a closing judgment is given within the case “to prevent the aggravation of serious and irreparable harm inflicted to judicial independence and the EU legal order.”
The European Commission had beforehand warned Poland that it would go to the European Court of Justice if the federal government didn’t take motion to repair the issues with the Polish regulation on judicial energy.
“It’s a crucial step in the infraction procedure,” EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders stated of the court referral.
The EU fee’s case is a component of an extended-operating dispute between Brussels and the nationalist governments in Poland and Hungary over democratic requirements and the rule of regulation within the 27-nation bloc.
The fee considers Poland in violation of EU regulation for permitting the nation’s Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court to make selections which have a direct influence on judges and the way in which they do their jobs, undermining judicial independence.
“These matters include cases of the lifting of immunity of judges with a view to bringing criminal proceedings against them or detain them, and the consequent temporary suspension from office and the reduction of their salary,” the European Commission stated. “The mere prospect for judges of having to face proceedings before a body whose independence is not guaranteed creates a ‘chilling effect’ for judges.”
In Warsaw, authorities spokesman Piotr Mueller questioned the EU’s authority within the matter.
“Regulation of the justice system area belongs solely to the national authority, and is the direct result of the provisions of Poland’s Constitution and of the EU treaties,” he stated.
Mueller additionally stated on Twitter that the Commission’s movement to the court “has no legal or factual grounds.” He insisted that “regulations in Poland are in line with the standards in force in the EU.”
A collection of legislative acts in late 2019 governs the way in which Poland’s justice system operates. The legal guidelines took impact in February 2020. The European Commission began infringement proceedings towards the appropriate-wing authorities in Warsaw in April, and took additional steps in October and December.
In November, the Disciplinary Chamber suspended Judge Igor Tuleya and reduce his wage by 25%. Tuleya, who was essential of the adjustments to the justice system, has turn into the image of the battle for judicial independence in Poland. Tuleya’s immunity was additionally waived, permitting prosecutors to press expenses towards the decide for having allowed journalists to hear the decision in a politically delicate trial.
He was the third decide essential of Polish Justice Ministry insurance policies to be suspended by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, which is basically composed of authorities loyalists.
The European Commission stated the interim measures it’s searching for embrace asking the Court of Justice to droop authorized provisions that permit the chamber to determine on requests “for the lifting of judicial immunity, as well as on matters of employment, social security and retirement of Supreme Court judges.”
The head of Poland’s largest union of judges, Krystian Markiewicz stated the Commission’s determination is a “victory of the free people” and a “victory of the judges” as a result of it exhibits that their protection of their independence has Europe’s backing.
The rules launched by the federal government because it took energy in 2015 have compelled some of the older judges into retirement, notably these essential of authorities strikes. The authorities is filling the roles with loyalists and insists the adjustments are wanted to restructure the justice system away from what stays from the communist period.
Critics insist that almost all of the personnel has already been modified since then, and declare that the federal government’s intention is to exert political management over the judiciary.
Amnesty International stated the Comission’s determination is a “badly needed step to stop the continued destruction of judicial independence in Poland”
“Despite interim measures in place stating the disciplinary regime must be paused, Polish authorities have continued to persecute judges and prosecutors critical of ‘reforms’. We expect a swift order granting interim measures from the EU Court and call on Polish authorities to finally put an end to the attacks on their own judiciary,” stated Eve Geddie, the director of Amnesty International’s EU workplace.

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