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Poland drops row with EU over judicial reform

Poland drops row with EU over judicial reform

PiS Chairman Kaczynski announced that Poland will abolish the Supreme Court Disciplinary Chamber in its current form.

Poland is partly relinquishing the row with Brussels over its controversial judicial reform. The head of the conservative ruling party, Law and Justice, Jaroslav Kaczynski, said that one would abolish the disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court in its current form. This will also lead to the disappearance of the topic of disagreement with the European Union. Poland established the disciplinary body in 2018; It caused a violent controversy with Brussels.

The Chamber is responsible for disciplinary action against judges and can also suspend them. PiS argues for working against corruption and other forms of misconduct as well as against the “legacy of communism” in the judicial system. Critics, including the European Union Commission, accuse the government in Warsaw of undermining the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled in mid-July that the disciplinary body had violated EU law. Luxembourg judges have criticized the lack of independence of the political disciplinary body. Another problem is that decisions of a purely objective court can be classified and punished as disciplinary offences. This enables “political control of court decisions” and “exercise pressure on judges”.

The EU Commission has given Warsaw until mid-August to explain how the government intends to comply with EU judicial decisions on the disciplinary body. Otherwise, Poland may face a fine.

According to Kaczynski, the first proposals for changes to judicial reform will be presented in September.

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(APA / DPA)