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EC takes Poland to court over 'violations of judicial independence'

Staff Writer | September 25, 2018
The European Commission (EC) has decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union over what it said were violations of judicial independence at the country's Supreme Court.
Europe   A reform of the Polish Supreme Court entered into effect in early August
The commission also asked the top European court to effectively reinstate the judges forced into early retirement after a reform of the Polish Supreme Court entered into effect in early August.

Poland's governing Law and Justice (PiS) party has said that sweeping changes are needed to reform an inefficient and sometimes corrupt judicial system tainted by the communist past, accusing judges of being an elite, self-serving clique often out of touch with the problems of ordinary citizens.

But according to the European Commission, new Polish rules governing the Supreme Court which set a retirement age for judges broke the principles of judicial independence and irremovability of judges.

Poland's European affairs minister has previously said that Poland would defend the changes to its judiciary.

Warsaw and Brussels have been at odds over the rule of law in Poland after the ruling conservative Law and Justice party introduced sweeping changes to the country's judiciary.