EU Judiciary Network May Suspend Poland Over Non-Compliance With EU Standards - Statement

EU Judiciary Network May Suspend Poland Over Non-Compliance With EU Standards - Statement

The European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) may suspend Poland's membership in the organization because of the country's failure to conform with the European Union's requirements for judicial reforms, the ENCJ said.

BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 17th August, 2018) The European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) may suspend Poland's membership in the organization because of the country's failure to conform with the European Union's requirements for judicial reforms, the ENCJ said.

In December 2017, the European commission expressed its concern over the rule of law in Poland after a total of 13 controversial pieces of legislation seriously affecting the judicial system were adopted in the country. The European Union argues that the country's authorities allow the executive and legislative branches to intervene in the judicial branch's affairs, which undermines the judicial independence in Poland.

"On 16th August 2018 the ENCJ board informed the Polish KRS [National Court Register] that it would convene an Extraordinary General Assembly on 17 September 2018 in Bucharest, to decide on the position of the KRS in the ENCJ. The Board has proposed to the Members of the ENCJ to suspend the membership of the KRS as it no longer meets the requirements of ENCJ that it is independent of the Executive and Legislature so as to ensure the Independence of the Polish Judiciary," ENCJ said Thursday in a statement published on its official website.

In 2017, the Polish parliament passed yet another controversial law, which lowered the retirement age for the country's Supreme Court members from 70 to 65 years, forcing 27 out of 72 judges, including the court's first president, to retire prematurely.

The European Union slammed the reform as distorting the country's courts' independence and violating the principle of irremovability of judges, as although the law allows the judges to ask for their terms' extension, there are no criteria defined for this decision. On Tuesday, the EU Commission warned Poland that the country's authorities had one month to take measures against the law, otherwise the commission may take the case to the EU Court of Justice.

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