Going to the Corner

Listen to Today's Edition
Voiced by Amazon Polly

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled this week that Poland violated EU law with its controversial judicial reform, saying that the changes endangered the independence of the member state’s judiciary, Politico reported.

In its verdict, the court sided with the European Commission which claimed that Poland violated EU law after introducing a 2019 reform that prevented judges from questioning the appointments of other judges.

The changes also allowed the now-liquidated Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court to penalize judges for their verdicts.

The bloc’s top court said that EU nations must ensure that “any regression of their laws on the organization of justice is prevented, by refraining from adopting rules which would undermine the independence of judges.”

It added that the changes implemented by Poland “are incompatible with the guarantees of access to an independent and impartial tribunal.”

Legal analysts and lawyers welcomed the verdict, saying that it might help restore the independence of Poland’s judiciary. But the Polish government swiftly criticized the ruling and accused the court of overstepping its powers, according to France 24.

The case is part of a long-running series of disputes between the EU and Poland regarding rule-of-law violations and concerns about the country’s democratic backsliding.

This week’s verdict concludes the years-long case that has cost Poland around $588 million in fines: In October 2021, the court began fining Warsaw more than $1 million per day for ignoring a ruling ordering it to suspend the disciplinary chamber.

The fines were halved in April following a series of partial reforms to restore the judiciary’s independence.

While the new decision ends the fines, the top court noted that it “does not affect Poland’s obligation to make the daily penalty payments due in respect of the past.”

Not already a subscriber?

If you would like to receive DailyChatter directly to your inbox each morning, subscribe below with a free two-week trial.

Subscribe today

Support journalism that’s independent, non-partisan, and fair.

If you are a student or faculty with a valid school email, you can sign up for a FREE student subscription or faculty subscription.

Questions? Write to us at [email protected].

Copy link