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12° Nicosia,
17 January, 2022
 
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Poland fined 1 million Euros per day

EU accuses Poland of backsliding in judiciary and press freedom

Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) sentenced Poland to a fine of 1 million Euros per day for ignoring a ruling ordering the country to suspend the disciplinary chamber of its Supreme Court.

In a statement by the Court of Justice based in Luxembourg, "Compliance with the provisional measures ordered on 14 July 2021 is necessary in order to avoid serious and irreparable damage to the legal order of the European Union and to the values ​​on which the Union is based, in particular that of the rule of law."

The CJEU disregards and ignores the Polish constitution...It operates outside its competences and abuses the institution of financial penalties...it is usurpation and blackmail

The disciplinary chamber was set up in 2018 and is able to dismiss judges and prosecutors. The ECJ fears this could be abused to inflict punitive sanctions on those who show independence in not bowing to political will.

Last week, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the European Parliament the disciplinary chamber will be abolished, but he gave no timeline for when that would occur and no draft law has been introduced.

Other EU member states have accused Poland of backsliding when it comes to the independence of the judiciary and press freedom.  The EU asserts Poland has politicized the judiciary with the placement of judges loyal to the ruling Law and Justice Party.

Poland's Deputy Justice Minister Sebastian Kaleta today tweeted, "The CJEU completely disregards and ignores the Polish constitution and the judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal. It operates outside its competences and abuses the institution of financial penalties and interim measures...it is usurpation and blackmail"

Earlier this month, Poland's constitutional court ruled Polish law supersedes EU law when there is a conflict between the two.

The penalty applies from the date the original ruling was delivered which was on 14 July 2021.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  EU  |  ECJ  |  court

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