Central Europe News

Poland Speeds Judge Replacement In Defiance Of EU

Image by Scotch Mist
View of the Supreme Court of Poland in Warsaw (Warszawa)

Today Poland speeded up replacement of Supreme Court judges via its judicial reform in defiance of the EU, which sees the moves as undemocratic.

The governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party had introduced the forced early retirement of judges over the age of 65 as part of a raft of controversial judicial reforms that have drawn concern from Brussels.

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“We’re speeding things up as much as we can,” judge Leszek Mazur, the new head of the National Council of the Judiciary (KRS), told reporters on Wednesday, reported AFP.

The ruling party in Poland sees many of the judges as holdovers from the communist era, and not fit to be in the position in a modern Poland. The Law and Justice Party also changed the appointment process, moving the procedure under the legislature, as in the United States, rather than by an independent panel of liberal lawyers.

The KRS is plowing ahead with its task of vetting new candidates to replace the retiring judges. Once the body names their successors, it will be up to President Andrzej Duda to approve them. It affects 27 of the Supreme Court’s sitting 73 judges including chief justice Malgorzata Gersdorf, who has refused to step down, slamming the measure as a “purge” that breaches her constitutionally guaranteed six-year term ending in 2020, added AFP.

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