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The controversial Disciplinary Chamber is dissolved

On July 15, the law on the dissolution of the Disciplinary Chamber will come into force in Poland. This step is one of the conditions on which the EU Commission has made the release of billions in corona financial aid for Poland dependent.

Polish President Andrzej Duda has signed a law dissolving the controversial disciplinary body.

Lukasz Gagulski / EPO

(dpa) The controversial disciplinary chamber for judges in Poland is practically a thing of the past. After being signed by President Andrzej Duda, the law dissolving the chamber was published in the EU country’s Legal Gazette on Tuesday. It comes into force on July 15.

The abolition of the disciplinary chamber is one of the conditions on which the EU Commission has made the release of billions in corona financial aid for Poland dependent. The Brussels authorities announced on Tuesday that they would carefully examine the dissolution law.

The chamber at the Supreme Court, introduced in 2018, was at the heart of the judicial reform being pursued by the national-conservative PiS government. She could punish and dismiss any judge. In July last year, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Poland was violating European law. Instead of the disciplinary chamber, Poland now wants to set up a “chamber for professional responsibility”. The judges who have worked there so far can move to another chamber or retire.

Agreement on Corona aid

At the beginning of the month, after a long dispute with the Polish government, the EU Commission agreed on a plan for the payment of the Corona aid. The country can hope for more than 35 billion euros. Approval of the plan was repeatedly postponed because Brussels criticized blatant shortcomings in Poland’s rule of law and called for reforms. The European Parliament has severely criticized the EU Commission’s decision to now approve the construction plan.

A spokeswoman for the authority emphasized on Tuesday that funds could only be paid out once Poland had fulfilled the obligations it had made. Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, under whose leadership the controversial judicial reforms were initiated, was unyielding. “The amendment to the law was presented by the President in response to the blackmail of Brussels and will not change anything for the better,” he said. According to him, the changes will not make the situation of the Polish judiciary easier, but will make it more difficult.

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