Poland to shut down contested judicial disciplinary panel, Kaczynski says

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of Poland's ruling Law and Justice party, told PAP that the Supreme Court's Disciplinary Chamber for judges that the EU top court said lacks independence, will be shut down "in the current format."

On July 15, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, which can run disciplinary proceedings against judges, should be suspended owing to a lack of independence from the executive power. Poland has been given until August 16 to implement the rulings or face financial sanctions.

"We will shut down the Disciplinary Chamber in the format under which it currently operates and this will remove the subject of the dispute," Kaczynski said, without specifying what disciplinary solutions the ruling party will implement instead of the contested ones.

But he also said that he does not accept "such rulings as they definitely go beyond the (EU) treaties," expanding the jurisdiction of EU courts.

Kaczynski said the first bills on a new disciplinary regime will be put forward by the government in September.

"There is the issue of the format of the Disciplinary Chamber, but it does not mean that the Chamber will not function in any form," the party leader said.

"Everyone is equal before the law and in only a few countries judges enjoy immunity, and it would be good to remove it in Poland as well," Kaczynski argued.