EU takes legal action against Poland over reform of judiciary
The European Union said Saturday it has launched legal action against Poland’s right-wing government over a new law it fears will undermine the independence of the country’s common courts.
The action taken by the European Commission, the EU executive, could lead to Poland being hauled before the 28-nation bloc’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, and eventually given a fine. The commission is now coming down hard on Warsaw to prevent what it says is not just an increasing threat to Poland’s democratic standards but those across the 28-nation bloc. “The European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Poland by sending a letter of formal notice, following the publication in the Polish Official Journal of the Law on the Ordinary Courts Organisation on Friday 28 July,” the European Commission said in a statement. It said Poland’s governing Law and Justice Party (PiS) had one month to respond to Commission concerns, including that “the independence of Polish courts will be undermined” by increased powers for the justice minister. Other concerns, it said, include “discrimination on the basis of gender due to the introduction of a different retirement age” for female and male judges.