Poland: Government presses ahead with Supreme Court appointments in face of criticism

Poland has pushed ahead with the appointment of 27 judges to its Supreme Court bench in spite of pressure from the international legal community and the EU, which believes its judicial reforms are illegal.

A spokesperson for President Andrzej Duda said the government was “implementing another stage of the reform of the justice system that is so important to us”.

The appointments fill the vacancies created by reforms reducing the retirement age from 70 to 65, forcing 27 of 72 sitting Supreme Court judges to retire.

The European Network of Councils for the Judiciary has described the reforms an “attempt to bring the judiciary under control of the government”.

Meanwhile, the European Commission believes the 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.

The issue was referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last month and a ruling is due within weeks.

Share icon
Share this article: