Polish President Proposes Abolishing Disputed Court Chamber

Polish President Proposes Abolishing Disputed Court Chamber

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda announced Thursday that he was sending a draft law to the parliament for approval that would dissolve the disciplinary chamber of a high court in order to end a bitter dispute with the European Union.

Poland is experiencing a difficult period at home and internationally, Duda said, stressing that we don’t need this conflict.

There was talk of closing the controversial court chamber where the majority of judges were appointed with the government’s support, replacing it with a new body responsible for professional vetting of judges.

He said his legislative proposal was a tool for the government to end the dispute with the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, over the Supreme Court.

It was not clear whether Duda had the approval of the government to make his proposal and whether that approval would be granted. Duda is a member of the ruling Law and Justice Party in Poland.

Last year, the European Court of Justice found that the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court of Poland violated EU law, ordered its suspension, and fined Poland 1 million euros for each day the chamber operates.

Some judges who were critical of the right-wing government and its attempts to control Poland’s judiciary have been suspended by the chamber.

Despite government efforts to shape the chamber, it refuses to comply with or pay.

As a result of the pending judicial dispute, the EU is considering freezing the disbursement of Polish pandemic relief funds.

In his address, Duda called on the draft law to move through parliament quickly. It needs to receive the approval of both chambers of parliament and from the government before it can be signed.

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