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Warszawa, 24.07.2017. Prezydent Andrzej Duda po wyg³oszeniu oœwiadczenia na temat reformy s¹downictwa, 24 bm. w Pa³acu Prezydenckim w Warszawie. (kru) PAP/Pawe³ Supernak

#FactOfTheDay 03/07/2018 – Rule of Law in Poland: Brussels opens infringement procedure against Warsaw

The European Commission (EC) finally launched on Monday, July 2nd, an infringement procedure against Poland over a controversial Supreme Court law. As of Tuesday, July 3rd, this text forces, 27 out of 72 judges to leave their positions because the age of retirement decreased from 70 to 65. This measure also applies to the president of the Supreme Court, Malgorzata Gersdorf, whose 6-year mandate, guaranteed by the constitution, would be terminated prematurely.

On Monday, the Commission stated that « these measures undermine the principle of judicial independence, including the irremovability of judges » and that Poland does not fulfill its obligations under the the Treaty on European Union (Article 19(1)) and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 47). The law on the Polish Supreme Court has already been discussed in the framework of the Rule of Law Dialogue between the Commission and the Polish authorities, but « has not been satisfactorily addressed through this process ». However, the ultra-conservative PiS (Law and Justice) government in Warsaw had already announced, after this laborious dialogue with Brussels, that it did not intend to back down on the main principles of the reform. 

Warsaw has one month to respond to the Commission’s notification. The EC could then bring the case before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), with possible financial sanctions, in case of dissatisfaction. A legal battle seems to be in the making.

Marie Peschier

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Adeline Silva Pereira

Après avoir effectué la deuxième année du master Sécurité Globale analyste politique trilingue à l'Université de Bordeaux, j'effectue un stage au sein d'EU Logos afin de pouvoir mettre en pratique mes compétences d'analyste concernant l'actualité européenne sur la défense, la sécurité et plus largement la coopération judiciaire et policière.

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