Poland has no problem with rule of law, PM insists

Morawiecki said that no state could tolerate its judges questioning the authority of their peers and the rulings they make. Marcin Obara/PAP

The Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has said that his country has no problems with observing the rule of law and blamed "some other countries" for misunderstanding Poland's justice reforms.

Morawiecki made the statement after the conclusion of a two-day EU summit in Brussels that had Warsaw's conflict with Brussels over changes to the Polish justice system on the agenda.

"Of course, Poland doesn't have any problems with the rule of law, but some countries misunderstand our reforms (...) and I presented the reason why we're reforming the justice system," Morawiecki said.

The prime minister said the dispute has "escalated too far," to the point where some Polish judges have begun to question the status of their peers nominated by the reformed judicial self-governance body the KRS, an organisation that some claim has been stuffed with political appointees by the government.

Morawiecki also said that no state could tolerate its judges questioning the authority of their peers and the rulings they make.

According to the prime minister, such questioning "may lead to chaos in the whole social system because it could suddenly turn out that millions of court rulings could be regarded as void."

"This would lead to anarchy and we will certainly not allow that to happen, I said so very clearly," he continued.

"At the same time I also mentioned that Poland was planning to start yet another stage of its justice reform, some elements of which (...) would meet the expectations of the European Commission," Morawiecki went on to say.

The European Commission accuses Poland of politicising the justice system and says that the KRS is now dominated by ruling party politicians.

Poland has also introduced a new disciplinary panel at the Supreme Court that can strip judges of immunity, but this body is not recognised by the CJEU.

In a July ruling, the CJEU ordered Poland to shut down the panel, saying that it lacked independence and could be used by the government to silence defiant judges, but Poland has failed to comply, so far.