Foreign

EU executive takes Poland to court over judges’ disciplinary regime

Published

on


The European Commission referred Poland to the top EU court on Thursday, arguing that a new disciplinary regime for ordinary court judges fails to protect them from political control.


Brussels had  been at loggerheads with Warsaw for several years over judicial reforms introduced by Poland’s ruling national conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS).

The commission, the European Union’s executive  has referred several cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), while launching a separate disciplinary procedure that could theoretically see Warsaw stripped of its EU voting rights.

Thursday’s decision relates to laws that allow the decisions of ordinary court judges to be subject to probes and even sanctions.

The commission questions the independence of the Supreme Court’s new disciplinary chamber, whose members are selected by a judicial body appointed by parliament.

The chamber’s president, furthermore, can determine, which court should hear cases brought against judges.

The commission also noted that, under the new regime, there is no reasonable time frame for cases to be processed, allowing the justice minister to keep charges pending over ordinary court judges.

“In short, judges are not insulated from political control and thus judicial independence is violated,’’ the EU executive concludes.

It has asked the Luxembourg-based court to rule in an expedited procedure, given the potential impact of the issue on judicial independence.

The referral was criticised sharply by the country’s Justice Minister, Zbigniew Ziobro, who said it constituted an attempt to intervene in Poland’s election,” Ziobro said, according to the Polish press agency.

The head of Poland’s largest opposition party Civic Platform Grzegorz Schetyna, in turn, warned on Thursday against dramatic consequences that may arise from controversial reforms of the governing party.

Poland will hold its parliamentary election on Sunday, Oct. 13.

The commission has ratcheted up its efforts to uphold the rule of law in EU member states, viewing the matter as a fundamental pillar for the overall functioning of the bloc.

However, some countries argue that these are internal affairs only.

The ECJ has already ruled against Warsaw over provisions lowering the retirement age of Supreme Court judges.

It is also considering similar provisions for ordinary court judges.

Meanwhile, the commission also pressed ahead with measures against Hungary on Thursday after it withheld food for rejected asylum applicants in transit zones on the Serbian border.

Also giving Budapest one month to comply with EU rules or else face court action.

Compelling refugees to stay in the Hungarian transit zones amounts to de facto detention, the commission argued.

Adding that failure to provide food in these circumstances does not respect [EU] obligations.

The case was launched on July 26, when the commission sent Budapest a letter of formal notice.

The Hungarian government’s reply did not address the commission’s concerns, it said.

Should Hungary fail to comply with EU rules in the coming month, the commission may refer the case to the ECJ.(NAN)


HS/AFA

Edited by Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide

https://nnn.ng/eu-executive-takes-poland/

Buhari salutes Adebayo Adelabu at 50 Serena digs deep to find way past Ahn into second round Don’t lose faith in us, TUC begs Lagos residents Why Nigeria must remain united — Akande   Lalong inuagurates Abuja-Jos Max Air flight Convoy Attack: Gov. Zulum meets families of fallen policemen Tanzania to introduce electronic budgeting system to reduce revenue loss Lawan, Gbajabiamila vow to break PIB jinx by ensuring its passage Lagos Assembly asks Sanwo-Olu to establish MSMEs hubs in 3 senatorial districts Osinbajo urges destination countries to insist on repatriation of illicit funds Kerber goes out early again in Paris World Contraceptive Day: Advocacy for family planning, a service to humanity — Official UN Women, UNDP inaugurate COVID-19 global gender response tracker SaudiArabia says it busted terrorist cell trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Holding Company: Sterling Bank obtains CBN’s approval in principle PIB: Sylva dispels reports over alleged scraping of NNPC DISCO warns against vandalism of power infrastructure in Kano Defection: Delta APC says it will not miss former Delta Gov Uduaghan Niger Delta region has more than oil to offer- Agba Commission trains 100 saloon operators on COVID-19 hygiene in Lagos Delta Govt. to employ 40 pharmacists to bridge manpower gap NIS deploys 2,000 special force in Northwest   Tinubu salutes Gov. Oyetola at 66, applauds his achievements CDC Group, NSIA sign MoU to strengthen collaboration Minister flags off payment of N5,000 monthly cash transfer to poor households in Bayelsa World Rabies Day: Kebbi Govt vaccinates 17,200 dogs – Commissioner  COVID-19: Many would have died without journalists – Prof Dakas NBC pledges support to TStv, rolls out pay per view digital TV Oct. 1 National Theatre: Need for proper inventory responsible for delay of takeoff of renovation – Official BBNaija: Okowa congratulates Dorathy, Neo Federal University, Dutsinma seeks collaboration with ABU on agriculture, security NiMet predicts thunderstorms, cloudiness Tuesday to Thursday Nigeria @60: No social justice, religious and inter-ethnic tolerance – Ozekhome Food sufficiency: FG set to revitalise rice farms in Anambra Katsina State Govt. spends N18.80bn on water projects in 5 years Strike: NECA lauds FG, Labour for embracing dialogue 4 dead, 4 injured in Anambra multiple accident 4 die, 12 injured on Lagos-Ibadan expressway accident  Navy organises refresher training  on weapons handling, marksmanship for personnel Young farmers call for repositioning of agric sector Couple, 2 others arrested for alleged possession of human skull in Ogun NGO trains volunteers for advocacy of gender issues in Kwara World Rabies Day: Veterinary association calls for speedy review of legislation Lagos Airport Command gets new CP Buhari greets President XI Jinping on China’s 71st Anniversary Positive sentiment: Stock market opens week with N99bn growth Kwara labour unions issue 14 days ultimatum to Kwara Govt. Digitisation of government activities will reduce corruption -Fayemi Yoruba groups dissociate selves from planned Oct. 1 rally, support united Nigeria Abia Govt., NSE to partner on SME development