EC refers Poland to CJEU to protect judges from political control

Marcin Bednarski/PAP

The European Commission decided to bring a case against Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in order to the protect the independence of the Polish judges.

According to the EC, "Polish law on the judiciary undermines the independence of Polish judges and is inconsistent with the primacy of EU law."

The EC went on to claim that the Polish law prevents Polish courts from direct application of certain provisions of EU law protecting the independence of judges and from referring questions for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice.

"Poland is violating EU law by allowing the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court - whose independence is not guaranteed - to make decisions that directly affect judges and the way they perform their functions," the EU has said.

Commenting on the matter, Polish government spokesperson Piotr Mueller said that the Polish regulations do not differ from the EU standards.

"The EC's application to the CJEU has no legal and factual justification. Regulations regarding the administration of justice belong exclusively to the national domain, which results directly from the Constitution of Poland and EU treaties," Mueller wrote on Twitter.

The EU body also decided to ask the CJEU to apply so-called interim measures pending a final judgment in order to "prevent the deterioration of serious and irreparable damage to the independence of the judiciary and the EU legal order."

In its application for interim measures, the Commission will ask the Court for measures that will suspend provisions which allow the Disciplinary Chamber (Supreme Court) to make decisions that have a direct impact on judges, such as the lifting of their immunity.