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Commission asks EU's top court to suspend chamber disciplining Polish judges

EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND
A general view of the entrance of the Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg, 10 May 2017 (reissued 04 December 2018).

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The European Commission decided on Tuesday to ask the European Court of Justice (CJEU) to temporarily suspend the functioning of the disciplinary chamber of Poland’s Supreme Court, after CJEU ruled in December that the Polish court is not independent.
“Despite the judgments, the Disciplinary Chamber continues to operate, creating a risk of irreparable damage for Polish judges and increasing the chilling effect on the Polish judiciary,” said the Commission in a statement.
The eurosceptic government of Law and Justice Party (PiS) which introduced the disciplinary chamber, immediately questioned the move, with the Polish government’s spokesman Piotr Müller saying the EU has no power to order the European Court of Justice to make such a demand of member states.
EU Commissioner for Values and Transparency, Věra Jourová tweeted that the request “is made in the context of an ongoing infringement procedure regarding the new disciplinary regimes for Polish judges,” adding that the Commission remains “ready to engage in a constructive dialogue based on fairness and respect with Poland.”
Since it came into power in 2015, Poland’s ruling PiS has brought controversial judicial reforms that led to EU Commission triggering in 2017, the Article 7 of the EU Treaty, which could lead to deprivation of voting rights, saying that PiS posed “a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law in Poland.”
Thereafter Warsaw has repeatedly clashed with Brussels, due to contradictions between Polish and EU law and the latter’s efforts to make Poland align with its founding values.
Yet, Jourová tweeted on Thursday that the EU’s executive branch wishes to work with Polish authorities to strengthen the rule of law, as the EP also called for the creation of an EU permanent mechanism on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights.
 
 
 
 

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