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Polish government spokesman: Polish regulation on courts does not differ from EU rules

By: V4 Agency

In his announcement, Piotr Muller reacted to a new procedure launched by the European Commission on the subject.

The European Commission announced on Wednesday that it would refer Poland to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) “for the protection of the independence of judges.”

The Commission also requested the body to instate temporary measures to suspend certain provisions regarding the Supreme Court’s disciplinary chamber, established in the framework of Poland’s judicial reform.

The regulation of the judiciary is an exclusively national domain, the Polish government’s spokesman tweeted in response to the EC’s move, citing the Constitution of Poland and the EU treaties.

The EC’s move had no legal or substantive basis, Piotr Muller said. Legal regulations in Poland with regard to the operation of courts do not differ from the regulations applied in the European Union, he stressed.

In summary, the European Commission initiated the suspension of the Polish disciplinary chamber at the ECJ and launched an infringement procedure against the country last year, also regarding the chamber’s operation, according to Hungary’s state news agency (MTI). The EU’s executive arm in Brussels raised objections that the regulations on the chamber, which took effect in early 2020 in Poland, can be used to reprimand judges who call into question the appointment of fellow judges, or engage in any public activity taht is incompatible with the independence of courts and judges.

Last April, the European Court of Justice ruled that Poland must suspend provisions regarding the powers of the disciplinary chamber. Following the ruling, Warsaw asked the Constitutional Tribunal of Poland to issue an opinion whether the European Commission has the competence to prescribe preliminary measures, such as those taken regarding Poland.

In connection with another ECJ ruling issued in early March, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki filed a request with Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal on Monday to establish a hierarchical order between the Constitution of Poland and EU law. In its rulings passed in recent years, Poland’s top court established the supremacy of Polish law.

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