‘EU’s action over controversial judicial reforms in Poland’
European Union (EU) launched fresh action against Poland over its controversial judicial reforms, saying a new disciplinary regime for judges would have a “chilling effect” on legal freedom.
In latest round of bitter tussle between Brussels and right-wing government in Warsaw, EU said that under new system, judges would be punished simply for doing their jobs independently.
Poland has been at loggerheads with bloc over sweeping reforms its government insists are needed to tackle corruption and overhaul a judicial system still haunted by communist era.
EU has already launched unprecedented proceedings against Poland over “systemic threats” to rule of law that could see its EU voting rights suspended.
The Commission, bloc’s executive arm, will write to Polish authorities and expect a reply within two months, Timmermans said.
European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans said that new infringement procedure had been set in motion over disciplinary rules for judges.
“The main objective of this disciplinary regime is as with rest of judicial reform to systematically subject judges to political control of executive,” Timmermans said.
Polish judges who have taken part in public debates or commented on reforms have been targeted by disciplinary officers, Timmermans said, along with those asking for rulings from European Court of Justice.
“The position of individual judges is at risk, with careers and means of living being endangered for mere fact of trying to do their jobs independently.”