After years of dispute with the EU: Poland reforms disciplinary system for judges

After years of dispute with EU
Poland reforms disciplinary system for judges

For more than a year, the EU Commission has been holding back billions in aid from the Corona development fund for Poland. The reason is violations of the independence of the judiciary. Now the controversial disciplinary system for judges is being reformed.

Poland has implemented into law a reform of the controversial disciplinary system for judges promised to the EU. President Andrzej Duda signed the relevant law on Monday, which will abolish a disciplinary body for judges in the Supreme Court system.

The chamber had caused disputes between Poland and the EU for years. Because of the dispute, Brussels had withheld the billions in aid provided for Warsaw in the EU Corona reconstruction fund. Warsaw then announced in May that it had reached an agreement with the EU. In particular, the EU Commission had called for the dissolution of the Disciplinary Chamber.

However, critics from the Polish opposition and judges’ associations complain that the new law does not allay concerns about political influence on the judiciary in Poland. Even within the EU Commission there are doubts as to whether Warsaw is serious about its reforms.

On June 1, the EU basically gave the green light for the payment of billions in aid for Poland from the Corona reconstruction fund. However, during a visit to Warsaw, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that the money would only be paid out “when reforms and investments have been implemented”. For years, the Commission has been complaining that the national conservative government in Warsaw has undermined the rule of law.

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