Lower house rejects key Senate amendments to Supreme Court law
Poland's lower house of parliament has rejected most of the Senate-authored amendments to the law on the Supreme Court liquidating a judicial Disciplinary Chamber in line with a ruling by the European Court of Justice (CJEU).
The Sejm, on Thursday, rejected 23 out of 29 amendments adopted by the upper house of parliament. Now the bill will go to the president for signature.
The bill was initiated by President Andrzej Duda and provides primarily for the liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. Under the draft law, judges currently adjudicating in the chamber are to have the possibility of moving to another chamber or retiring. A Chamber of Professional Responsibility is to be created at the Supreme Court to replace the Disciplinary Chamber.
The liquidation of the chamber was a key condition set by the European Commission in order for Poland's post-pandemic National Recovery Plan (KPO) to be accepted and funds released by the EU.
On June 1, the European Commission approved the KPO, saying that Poland's plan contained milestones related to important aspects of judicial independence "which are of particular importance to improve the investment climate and put in place the conditions for an effective implementation of the recovery and resilience plan."
The EC also added that Warsaw must show that these milestones have been reached before any payment can be made.
Poland stands to receive EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 11.5 billion in loans from the recovery and resilience fund, the EC said, adding that the money will go towards investment and reform measures outlined in the KPO. "It will enable Poland to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic and progress with the green and digital transitions," the EC wrote.