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CJEU: Poland has until February 13 to give explanation on Disciplinary Chamber

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

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TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters
Vera Jourova says EU executive wants to open "new chapter" with Poland
Vera Jourova says EU executive wants to open "new chapter" with Poland
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Vera Jourova says EU executive wants to open "new chapter" with Poland

The Court of Justice of the European Union has given Polish government until February 13th to provide explanation regarding the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber - TVN24 has learned.

This decision follows the EU Commission's request to implement interim measures and suspend operating of the Disciplinary Chamber. The Commission's complaint was sent to Polish government on January 24th.

Now, the Polish government is expected to provide explanations in that regard. The Court of Justice of the EU has given the Polish side until February 13th to do so. "We will respond to EU Commission's motion within the prescribed period, in line with the rules of CJEU proceedings" - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed TVN24.

The European Union's executive arm said its move came after a preliminary ruling of the EU top court on November 19th, which asked Poland's Supreme Court to rule if its new Disciplinary Chamber, appointed by the ruling PiS party, was independent.

The Polish Supreme Court ruled on December 5th it was not.

"Despite the judgments, the Disciplinary Chamber continues to operate, creating a risk of irreparable damage for Polish judges and increasing the chilling effect on the Polish judiciary," said the Commission, the guardian of EU law, which trumps all national laws of EU countries.

"Today, the European Commission decided to ask the Court of Justice to impose interim measures on Poland, ordering it to suspend the functioning of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court," the Commission said in a statement on January 14th.

Muzzle law adopted

The Commission said at the time its move was not linked to the new Polish bill on court reforms, that now finally became law after President Duda signed it on Tuesday (February 4th).

Poland's main judges' association says the law is intended to muzzle judges who question the legality of PiS changes to the judiciary.

"The Commission is closely monitoring developments," the EU executive arm said in January's statement.

A Polish government spokesman said in response to the Commission action that the EU had no grounds to question Poland's judiciary reforms.

The EU and Poland's nationalist PiS government have been at odds over the rule of law since 2015 and the conflict shows no signs of abating since the PiS won a second term in office last October.

The head of the EU's top court, Koen Lenaerts, issued a veiled warning to Poland in January over its overhaul of the judiciary, saying there was no place in the EU for countries that do not have independent courts.

European Commission says, if needed, it is ready to take necessary measures against PolandMauro Bottaro/EU

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Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters

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