By On October 10, 2018

Poland defies EU over Supreme Court judge appointments

Europe Europe Poland defies EU over Supreme Court judge appointments

Andrzej Duda speaking at UN General AssemblyImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption An aide to President Duda insisted on Wednesday the move was "in the public interest"

Poland's President Andrzej Duda has appointed 27 new Supreme Court judges, despite internal and European Union pressure not do so.

The European Commission has referred Poland to the European Court of Justice over its judiciary policies.

Earlier this year the government lowered the retirement age of judges, forcing many to retire.

Opponents say the move aims to appoint favourable replacements, undermining democracy and judicial independence.

The country's governing Law and Justice party (PiS) said the legal change, which forces judges to step down at 65 instead of 70, was necessary to rid the court of communist-era judges and improve the court's efficiency.

The new judges will work in the top court's Civil Law and Criminal Law Chambers as well as its newly created Chamber of Extraordinary Supervision, according to Polish public broadcast reports.

The Associated Press report members of the media were not allowed to witness the ceremony.

  • Government U-turn on Holocaust law
  • What sanctions can the EU impose on Hungary?
  • Nationalism in heart of Europe needles EU

Speaking on Wednesday, the president's top aide defended the government's appointments.

"We are implementing another stage of the reform of the justice system that is so important to us," Pawel Mucha said.

"We are acting in the public interest. We are restoring trust in the justice system."

What is the court row about?

The EU has long-feuded with the country's government over its judiciary policy, first raising concerns when PiS came to power in 2015.

In December 2017 the European Commission initiated disciplinary proceedings against Poland invoking a rule called Article 7, citing "systemic threats" to the rule of law amid their changes.

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe BBC's Paul Adams examines the political scene in Poland

It was the first time the body invoked the rule, but in the months since Hungary has also faced censure under it.

The two countries, who both have right-wing governments, have vowed to support each other. They accuse the EU of trying to interfere politically in their domestic matters.

Despite being referred the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over the rule, Poland pushed ahead the retirement age change which meant 27 of the court's 72 judges were forced to leave before the end of their terms.

Speaking last week, President Duda said he was "waiting calmly" for the ECJ ruling on the reforms.

  • Thousands rally against court changes
  • Poland: country profile

The court's 65-year-old former Chief Justice Malgorzata Gersdorf labelled the move a "purge" and returned to work in defiance of the law, flanked b y supporters.

A small group of protesters shouted "traitors" at the nominees as they entered the presidential palace on Wednesday.

Top Stories

'Monster' US storm begins lashing Florida

Residents along the US Gulf coast are warned to stay indoors as "catastrophic winds" and a surge arrive.

10 October 2018 Turkish video 'shows Khashoggi plotters' 10 October 2018 Abuse evidence 'empowered' me - Biles 10 October 2018


Why I'm sending a postcard to a stranger

Woman who spent $21m in Harrods revealed


WW1 footage transformed into colour

The young Americans bucking the divorce trend

Should women be spelt womxn?


Is Jared Kushner really a 'hidden genius'

Why you have (probably) already bought your last car

How two film-makers tackled the same tragedy

A history of Taylor Swift v Kanye West

Elsewhere on the BBC

Football phrases

15 sayings from around the world

Full article Football phrases Why you can trust BBC News

BBC N ews Services

  • On your mobile
  • On your connected tv
  • Get news alerts
  • Contact BBC News
Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland

no image

By On October 10, 2018

News from Poland :: 10.10.2018

  • News from Poland :: 07.06.2018

  • News from Poland :: 14.06.2018

  • News from Poland :: 05.07.2018

  • News from Poland :: 20.07.2018

  • News from Poland :: 09.08.2018

  • News from Poland :: 17.08.2018

  • News from Poland :: 03.09.2018

  • News from Poland :: 10.09.2018

  • News from Poland :: 20.09.2018

  • News from Poland :: 28.09.2018

Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland