Crime & Justice

ECJ rules Polish judicial reform incompatible with EU law as standoff worsens

Warsaw, Jul 15 (EFE).- A legal standoff between the European Union top court and Polish judicial system worsened on Thursday after the EU ruled the country’s judicial reform was not compatible with EU law.

Poland’s constitutional court ruled on Wednesday that the European Commission’s injunctions over the country’s judiciary conflict were not binding, undermining the bloc’s rule of law.

The EC said it was “deeply concerned” with Poland’s decision and that it “reaffirms our concerns about the state of the rule of law in Poland.”

Poland’s top court on Thursday delayed its ruling on which set of laws would be applied until Aug. 3.

Poland passed a measure in February last year that prevented judges from referring legal issues to the ECJ. It also created a “disciplinary chamber” that oversees Polish judges and has the power to lift their immunity and cut their salaries.

“The European Commission expects Poland to ensure that all decisions of the European Court of Justice are fully and correctly implemented,” the EC said in a statement.

If Poland fails to comply it could face financial penalties.

Warsaw argues the reforms are necessary to tackle corruption while the EU sees them as a threat to the rule of law.

“EU law has primacy over national law,” the EC underlined.

Critics have dubbed the row between Warsaw and Brussels, which has been ongoing for years, the start of a potential ‘Polexit’.

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