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Polish justice minister slams opinion by EU court adviser

28.06.2019 14:45
An opinion issued by an adviser to the top EU court that questions judicial changes in Poland is “highly inconsistent internally” and incompatible with the bloc’s treaties, the country's justice minister said on Thursday.
The Justice Minister
The Justice MinisterPAP/Jakub Kamiński

Zbigniew Ziobro was speaking after the Advocate General to the Court of Justice of the European Union earlier in the day said that a new disciplinary chamber in Poland's Supreme Court did not meet the requirements of judicial independence.

Approached by reporters at a news conference, Ziobro argued that issues affecting the judiciary were the prerogative of individual member states, not EU bodies.

He added that the adviser’s opinion “is highly inconsistent internally” and “goes beyond the scope of the treaties of the European Union.”

He also told reporters that the Advocate General's opinion “de facto boils down to defending dysfunction in the Polish judiciary."

“This is an opinion that we cannot agree with in a fundamental way," Ziobro declared.

The Advocate General to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Evgeni Tanchev, said in a statement earlier on Thursday that the “newly-created Disciplinary Chamber of the Polish Supreme Court does not satisfy the requirements of judicial independence established by EU law.”

Public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported that the adviser’s opinion was non-binding and just a suggestion for the top EU court, though in most cases its judges use such opinions when they prepare to rule on cases.

The final ruling by the top EU court in the case is likely to be issued some time over the next several weeks, the IAR news agency reported.

Ziobro told newsmen in April that new Polish measures to discipline judges were designed to fight "pathological" behaviour and were less political than those in neighbouring Germany.


Source: PAP, IAR