Supreme Court judge resigns in protest over EU "pressure"

A Polish Supreme Court judge has quit, saying the court is "violating Polish law and the constitution" and that it is "yielding to unlawful pressure from external entities."

The Polish conservative government has been in conflict with the EU over the country's justice reforms that Brussels say violate judicial independence.

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ordered the government to shut down a new division in the Supreme Court, the Disciplinary Chamber, over concerns that it may be used to intimidate judges opposing the government's judicial agenda.

Since the verdict, the Disciplinary Chamber has reduced its activities but is still operational.

Resigning from his post, Jan Majchrowski said in a statement: "My resignation is the last form of protest I am left with against the violating of Polish law, Polish Constitution and the verdicts of the (Polish) Constitutional Tribunal by the Supreme Court itself and the actual yielding of the Supreme Court's and Disciplinary Chamber's senior officials to unlawful pressure from external entities, primarily from the Court of Justice of the European Union, that undermines the sovereignty of the Polish State."

Majchrowski's appointment by President Andrzej Duda in 2018 caused controversy in Polish judicial circles as he was nominated by a reformed judiciary self-governing body, the KRS, which some Polish judges and EU institutions say has been politicised and is not independent.