3 July 2018
The European Commission has announced it will be launching infringement proceedings against Poland over controversial judicial reforms that will severely impact the independence of the country’s courts.
The new Polish law that kicks in today 3 July reduces the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65, forcing a number of the highest-ranking judges to prematurely cut short their terms.
Responding to the news, European Green Party co-chairs Reinhard Bütikofer and Monica Frassoni said:
“We are pleased to see the European Commission taking concrete action to restore the independence of Poland’s judiciary.
“This is proof that the EU is not prepared to waver on the values enshrined in its treaties.
“If Poland follows through with the process that kicks in today 3 July, the country can no longer rest assured that its courts are acting free from political interference.
“So far, Poland has backed away from any meaningful commitment on its side guaranteeing the prestige and integrity of its highest judicial body will remain intact.
“Cutting the maximum age of retirement is unacceptable political interference and tramples over the rights and collective expertise of its judges.
“A small window of opportunity still remains open for Poland to show it is willing to change course and stay in line with Europe-wide norms guaranteeing the independence of our courts.”
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