The judicial reform in Poland is controversial. Critics see an independent democracy at risk. Now the European Court of Justice has assessed the laws and issued a judgment.
Poland is violating EU law with a central part of its judicial reforms. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg ruled on Thursday that Poland “has violated its obligations under Union law” with the new disciplinary code for judges. Among other things, the newly created disciplinary body “does not offer all guarantees of independence and impartiality”.
For years, the EU has been arguing with Warsaw over the judicial reforms of the right-wing nationalist ruling party Law and Justice (PiS). Among other things, it is about the newly created disciplinary chamber of the Supreme Court in 2018, which is responsible for disciplinary proceedings against judges and can, for example, suspend them.
In the opinion of the EU Commission, the independence of this chamber is questionable, since its members are appointed by the politically controlled State Judicial Council. Brussels had therefore filed a lawsuit in Luxembourg. The ECJ has now found the Commission to be right. The court said that the chamber was “not insensitive” to influence by the Polish parliament and the executive.