The European Commission has asked the European Court of Justice to suspend the disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court as soon as possible. The chamber was established two years ago by the Polish conservative governing party PiS to judge judges on the purity of their actions.
According to the government, the disciplinary rules must improve the administration of justice, but critics see in the disciplinary chamber a means of government to silence critical judges. In practice, especially judges who are critical of the government have to answer for the disciplinary chamber.
The European Commission also went to court in October. The European judge then questioned the independence of the disciplinary chamber, but the court did not consider the creation of the chamber in itself contrary to European rules. The judge then left the case to the Polish Supreme Court. This ruled in December that the chamber does not meet the European requirements regarding independent justice.
Because the Chamber continues to function, the European Commission has asked the Court to take action as quickly as possible. “There is a risk that Polish case law will suffer irreparable damage,” the committee believes.
Poland says it is not aware of any harm. A government spokesperson believes that the EU “has no grounds” to ask questions at all about legal reforms in Poland. “The disciplinary chamber has been established in line with Polish law. EU treaties do not concern the legal systems of certain Member States.”