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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Court rules Polish 2017 judicial overhaul broke EU law

05.11.2019 11:00
Poland broke European Union law with its 2017 judicial overhaul that lowered the retirement age for judges and introduced a different retirement age for men and women in the profession, the bloc’s top court ruled on Tuesday.
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Pixabay License Image by succo from Pixabay

The European Court of Justice said that Poland “failed to fulfill its obligations under EU law, first, by establishing a different retirement age for men and women who were judges or public prosecutors in Poland and, second, by lowering the retirement age of judges of the ordinary courts while conferring on the Minister for Justice the power to extend the period of active service of those judges.”

Poland’s foreign ministry was quoted as saying in an immediate comment that the ruling by the European Union's top court applied to "a historical state of play" and did "not reflect the current regulations."

In a previous ruling, the EU Court of Justice said in June that an overhaul of Poland’s judicial system that forced a third of its Supreme Court judges into early retirement was unlawful.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said at the time that ruling by the European Union's top court had "no practical significance” because the country has since reversed the move.

Poland's governing Law and Justice party, which came to power in late 2015, has argued that sweeping changes are needed to reform an inefficient and sometimes corrupt judicial system marred by communist holdovers.

Poland’s prime minister said in January that some of the legal changes made by his conservative government have met with criticism abroad because they are not understood in Western Europe.

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR, Reuters