Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, August 18th, 2017

EU Executive to Start Legal Action against Poland over Judiciary Reform

EU Executive to Start Legal Action against Poland over Judiciary Reform

BRUSSELS - The European Commission said on Wednesday it would start legal action against Poland over an overhaul of the judiciary that it says undermines the independence of judges and so breaks EU rules.
The Commission also gave Poland a month to respond to EU concerns over the rule of law raised by the EU executive in an unprecedented process launched in 2016 and now aggravated by the planned Polish legal reforms.
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Tuesday signed into law a bill giving the justice minister the power to hire and fire senior judges who head ordinary courts.
But in a move welcomed by Brussels, Duda also blocked two other bills that would have given the government and parliament power to replace Supreme Court judges.
“An independent judiciary is an essential precondition for membership in our (European) Union,” Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement. “The EU can therefore not accept a system which allows dismissing judges at will.”
“If the Polish government goes ahead with undermining the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law in Poland, we will have no other choice than to trigger Article 7,” he said, referring to a legal process of suspending Poland’s voting rights in the 28-nation EU. (Reuters)