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European Union Takes Legal Action Against Poland… For Refusing To Do As They Are Told

European Union Takes Legal Action Against Poland… For Refusing To Do As They Are Told

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by Wojciech Zdrojkowski

The European Commission has launched an infringement procedure against Poland’s government after the nation ignored repeated warnings by Brussels to not proceed with long-promised judicial reform measures.

Having already previously made multiple threats, the European Commission [EC] sent a Letter of Formal Notice to the governing Law and Justice party [Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc, PiS] on Saturday, July 29th, a day after the publication of the government policy document outlining the forthcoming changes.

The EC stated they had a ‘key legal concern’ in court laws requiring female judges to retire at the age of 60, while their male counterparts would continue to work until 65, which they said is seen as contrary to gender equality in employment.

The EC has also set out their concerns with giving the justice minister too much power to dismiss and appoint court presidents.

“The new rules allow the Minister of Justice to exert influence on individual ordinary judges, through, in particular, the vague criteria for the prolongation of their mandates thereby undermining the principle of irremovability of judges” the EC stated in a press release.

Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) explained in a statement on Saturday that the judge’s retirement age was simply adjusted to match the national ages of retirement for both sexes, which has been in force since the Law and Justice government repealed the previous retirement reform. Before the latest reforms, both men and women had to work until 67.

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