The EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, said Tuesday that it wants the European Court of Justice to “impose financial penalties on Poland to ensure compliance” with a previous legal ruling.
BRUSSELS — The European Union will request that Europe’s top court impose daily fines on Poland for failing to take action to protect the independence of the country’s justice system
The commission said it wants the Luxembourg-based court to impose “a daily penalty” on Poland until it acts to improve the functioning of the Polish Supreme Court and suspends new laws deemed to undermine judicial independence.
A main point of contention has been the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, a body that the ruling party gave the power to discipline judges. Many Polish judges view the chamber as a tool to pressure judges to issue rulings in favor of the ruling authorities.
To date, while the ruling party has filled the ranks of the top courts, there are many lower court judges that act independently and have given rulings that go against the government’s interests.
The commission also launched the first step in new legal action against Poland for not complying with a separate ECJ decision that the country’s rules for disciplining judges doesn’t conform with EU law.
Brussels said that if the government in Warsaw doesn’t respond to the “letter of formal notice” satisfactorily that it will take the case back before the court.
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