Poland: Supreme Court judges reinstated pending final judgment from EU courts

PolandPoland has reinstated the 27 Supreme Court judges who were forced to retire under controversial judicial reforms opposed by the European Commission.

Legislation reversing the change in the judicial retirement age was signed into law by President Andrzej Duda yesterday after the European Court of Justice granted the Commission’s request for interim measures.

Earlier this year, 27 of 72 sitting Supreme Court judges were forced to retire after reforms which reduced the retirement age to 65.

Legislation to reverse the move was introduced last month after the European court provisionally granted a request from the European Commission to suspend the law, allow the ousted judges to continue working, and refrain from appointing replacements.

The Commission believes Poland’s judicial reforms are incompatible with EU law as they undermine the principle of judicial independence, including the irremovability of judges, and thereby Poland fails to fulfil its obligations under article 19(1) of the Treaty on European Union read in connection with article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

A final ruling on the matter is expected early next year.