Poland accused of breaking EU law
Poland was accused of breaking EU law after it lowered the judges’ retirement age and failed to uphold the independence of its Supreme Court.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party pushed through a range of powers after coming to power in 2015 that rights groups and EU officials said threatened the rule of law and increased the government’s control over Polish courts.
According to the advisor to the Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union, Evgeni Tanchev said in a statement that the measures are “liable to expose the Supreme Court and its judges to external intervention and pressure from the president of the Republic” and they also impair “the objective independence” of the court.
“The court should rule that the provisions of Polish legislation relating to the lowering of the retirement age for supreme court judges are contrary to EU law”
Read the full statement here
Judges at the Court of Justice of the European Union, Europe’s top court, follow the advice of their advocate generals in the majority of cases although they are not bound to do so.
The PiS originally argued the changes were needed to improve the efficiency of the courts and rid the country of a residue of Communism.
As an interim measure, the Court of Justice of the European Union had last December ordered Poland to suspend the law lowering the age of retirement, which the PiS had already agreed to scrap.
However, a final judgement is still pending.