Poland replies to EC interim measure motion over courts

2020-02-13 19:26 update: 2020-02-15, 10:22
Piotr Muller. Photo PAP/Paweł Supernak
Piotr Muller. Photo PAP/Paweł Supernak
The EC's motion to the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) for interim measures against Poland over the introduction of disciplinary measures for judges is unacceptable, the Polish government pointed out in its Thursday response to the motion.

On January 24, the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) stated that the EC had asked it for interim measures against Warsaw over the establishment of a disciplinary chamber for judges at the Polish Supreme Court. According to the EC, the chamber stood under political influence.

If the CJEU approves the EC's motion, the chamber will have to be suspended.

Last Friday, the Polish national daily Rzeczpospolita said Poland could face a fine of EUR 2 million a day if it failed to suspend the disciplinary chamber upon approval of the EC's motion by the CJEU. On Wednesday, EU sources told PAP that the EC's motion did not mention fines on Poland. Also, the CJEU's press service said that the court had passed no such information to the newspaper.

Commenting on the matter on Thursday, government spokesperson Piotr Muller said that in its Thursday response to the CJEU, the Polish government pointed out that the motion was "unacceptable" and stood in crass violation of the principle of the irremovability of judges. The authors of the response also wrote that neither the EU nor the CJEU were empowered to interfere in the internal administration of the member states.

Muller said that Poland had also moved for the questioning of disciplinary chamber judges to ascertain whether the chamber's continued functioning seriously impaired the EU's legal order, and whether the chamber really stood under political influence.

The EC first complained to the CJEU over the Polish disciplinary system for judges on October 10, 2019. At the time, the Commission argued that the disciplinary chamber was not independent and impartial, and said its complaint was meant as a step to protect judges from political pressure. (PAP)