Polish justice system sound, constitutional court head tells Die Welt

There have been no sustainable objections to the Polish justice system, Constitutional Tribunal head Julia Przylebska told the German Die Welt daily in a Wednesday interview. Przylebska said recent justice reforms in Poland were necessary to speed up proceedings.

In the interview, mainly focused on judicial reforms which have put Poland at odds with the EC, Przylebska said EU treaties gave the EU states the right to reform their justice systems as they saw fit. She added that, in Poland's case, the reforms were aimed to accelerate prolonged court proceedings, and also mentioned "the increasingly frequent activism of judges, which extended beyond the traditional role of the judiciary."

Commenting on rising claims that Poland's courts were not independent, Przylebska insisted that the judiciary was fully independent from the government. She also observed that the appointment of judges in Poland "was less politicised than in other European countries."

Asked about a Dutch court's recent refusal to extradite a Polish citizen on doubts whether a fair trial was possible in Poland, Przylebska said she had "not heard about any sustainable objections" to the functioning of the Polish judiciary, and explained that the Polish government's reforms of the system had been necessary to improve its functioning.

Asked what Poland gained from its current conflict with the EU over the justice reforms, Przylebska replied that she "did not believe Poland was conflicted with anyone," and suggested that "someone was intent on presenting Poland in a bad light."

Commenting on a pending EU report on the rule of law in the member states, Przylebska said EC Vice-President Vera Jourova's announcement that its focus will be on Poland and Hungary showed that the report was being prepared "according to a preconceived thesis."