Monday

27th Sep 2021

Poland may remove constitutional judges

  • Ryszard Terlecki (seated) said the "cabaret" around Poland's constitutional court cannot go on for ever. (Photo: Pawel Kula)

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) is considering removing non-loyal judges from the constitutional court to break a long-lasting dispute.

”We can’t let this cabaret go on forever,” PiS MP Ryszard Terlecki told Rzeczpospolita in an interview published on Wednesday (31 August).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Shortly after winning elections last year, PiS passed a law curtailing the court's powers to scrutinise legislation, and attempted to appoint loyalist judges.

The court ruled that these moves were unconstitutional.

Terlecki, head of PiS' parliamentary group, said parliament was thinking about another bill, but admitted it may be useless.

”Some judges have shown they aren’t interested in complying with the laws passed by the parliament,” he said.

”This means they no longer want to be judges. I will have to find a solution to remove these judges so that they stop harming the court.”

The EU and the Council of Europe have warned of the risk of parallel legal systems, since the government does not recognise the Constitutional Tribunal's rulings but lower courts do.

Polish prosecutors last month launched an investigation against the court's president, Andrzej Rzeplinski, for not accepting three judges appointed by PiS.

Poland's deputy PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday that the dispute would resolve itself when Rzeplinski steps down at the end of the year.

The European Commission said in July that the constitutional dispute was a threat to the rule of law in Poland and formally recommended the Polish government to recognise the top court’s rulings as well as the judges nominated by the previous parliament.

The commission gave Warsaw until 27 October to comply, or warned it could face sanctions such as losing its Council voting rights.

Analysis

EU still shy of 'nuclear option' on values

The EU commission has moved forward with its rule-of-law probe on Poland, but critics say that a better framework is needed to uphold values.

Poland tries to appease EU critics before Nato summit

The parliament passed a bill meant to address foreign critics on judicial reform. NGOs and opposition parties said it did not square with EU demands, but those demands are being kept secret, weakening their hand.

News in Brief

  1. Italy arrests Puigdemont on Spanish warrant
  2. EU and US hold trade talks despite French wrath
  3. EMA to decide on Pfizer vaccine booster in October
  4. EU welcomes Polish TV-station move
  5. Ukrainian parliament passes law to curb power of oligarchs
  6. EU could force Poland to pay lignite-coal fine
  7. Report: EU and US concerned by tech-giants' power
  8. EU states sign 'transparency pledge'

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed

Latest News

  1. Activists: 'More deaths' expected on Polish-Belarus border
  2. EU unveils common charger plan - forcing Apple redesign
  3. Central Europe leaders rail against 'new liberal woke virus'
  4. Yemen's refugees in 'appalling conditions', says UN agency
  5. VW emissions software was illegal, top EU lawyer says
  6. Sexism and the selection of the European Parliament president
  7. More French names linked to Russia election-monitoring
  8. Negotiations set for new, tougher, EU ethics body

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us