EU launches legal action against Poland over court rulings

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The Commission has “serious doubts about the independence and impartiality” of Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, which “no longer meets the requirements of a tribunal previously established by law.”…reports Asian Lite News.

The European Union (EU) is to take legal action against Poland for violating EU law and compromising judicial independence, its executive has announced.

The action is an escalation of a rule-of-law wrangle between Brussels and Warsaw over rulings made by Poland’s top court, which this year found key elements of EU law to be incompatible with the country’s constitution.

The European Commission announced in a statement it was taking action over “serious concerns” regarding the rulings by the Polish Constitutional Tribunal in July and October. These rulings “expressly” challenged the primacy of EU law, the Commission said, adding that Poland now has two months to respond to the complaint.

The Commission has “serious doubts about the independence and impartiality” of Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal, which “no longer meets the requirements of a tribunal previously established by law.”

Brussels can bring infringement procedures against member states when they do not respect or fully implement EU laws. The first step is an exchange of letters, but cases can be taken before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and result in financial penalties.

The ECJ had previously ruled against Poland’s lifting of the immunity of certain judges, and dismissing of those deemed unacceptable by the parliament.

The Commission is also dissatisfied with a 2019 Polish law prohibiting the country’s courts from interpreting some areas of EU law, and from submitting legal matters to the ECJ.

“We’ve tried to engage in a dialogue but the situation is not improving,” the EU’s Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders posted on Twitter. “Fundamentals of the EU legal order, notably the primacy of EU law, must be respected.”

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