The News Scroll 02 March 2021  Last Updated at 6:35 pm | Source: PTI

EU court: Poland''s judicial rules could violate EU law

EU court: Poland''s judicial rules could violate EU law
Warsaw, Mar 2 (AP) The European Union''s top court ruled Tuesday that Poland''s new regulations for appointing judges to the Supreme Court could violate EU law.

The ruling obliges Poland''s right-wing government to discontinue these regulations and observe the principles of judicial independence and the right to judicial protection.

The EU has been strongly criticizing Poland''s conservative government for the changes it has introduced to the judiciary since it won power in 2015, saying they undermine the country''s rule of law.

In a decision that could have a powerful effect on future court verdicts regarding judicial appointments, the ruling also allows Poland''s courts to refrain from applying the government regulations introduced in 2018 and 2019.

The legislation in Poland strengthened political influence over a top judicial body, the National Council of the Judiciary, and the body''s procedure of appointments to the Supreme Court. It also curbed the right to appeal the council''s decisions.

The regulations “which have the effect of removing effective judicial review of that council''s decisions ... (proposing) candidates for the office of judge at the Supreme Court — are liable to infringe EU law," the European Court of Justice said in its ruling.

Many members of Poland''s judiciary welcomed the decision.

“The (EU) court has put limits on political power,” said attorney Marcjanna Debska.

“It refers not only to the regulations but also to the political situation and that means that the court can clearly see what is going on in Poland."

But a member of the ruling Law and Justice party, lawyer Krystyna Pawlowicz, criticized the verdict, saying it has “no legal basis and goes against Poland''s legal system.”

The ruling was in response to a query by Poland''s top administrative court to the European court regarding a complaint by some judges. The Polish judges said the new regulations stripped them of the right to appeal a decision rejecting them as candidates for the Supreme Court.

Based on Tuesday''s ruling, Poland''s Supreme Administrative Court can now review the appeals by the five judges, who are not government loyalists. In the process, it is likely to rule that the entire appointment procedure was flawed and ineffective.

Some said the court''s decision backed up several previous warnings from EU bodies to Poland about following the bloc''s rule of law.

The ruling on the Polish government''s “political interference in the judiciary is concrete evidence that the government is blatantly flouting the rule of law, despite multiple warnings. It is also destroying Europe''s trust in the legal system there," said Jeroen Lenaers, a European Parliament member. (AP) RUP

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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