(Bloomberg) -- Poland’s government plans to place new restrictions on judges, ignoring concerns by the European Union and its own Supreme Court that it’s eroding the rule of law.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Gazeta Polska newspaper Wednesday that his cabinet is analyzing regulations to ban judges from engaging in political activities or opposing the government. The move would escalate a stand-off over whether the ruling party is thwarting the EU’s values by politicizing courts.
The comments come a day after the bloc’s executive discussed democratic backsliding in member states including Poland and Hungary. The country’s Supreme Court also warned this week that the government’s failure to abide to its binding court rulings posed a “serious threat to the stability of the legal order.”
“The leaders of judges’ protests in Poland would have serious problems in further work in their fields” in countries such as France and Germany, Morawiecki was quoted as saying. “With all my strength I can say that we will continue reforming the judicial system.”
The Supreme Court has ruled that the influential judicial body tasked with deciding which judges are promoted -- and which appointed jurists to a new body to discipline justices -- isn’t independent of politics following overhauls of the courts.
It said the disciplinary chamber wasn’t a legal court and told the so-called Judicial Council to halt its work because its decisions, as well as those of the judges it appointed, may be legally dubious, causing chaos. But the government has rejected the Supreme Court’s binding verdict.
“The fact that someone happened to rule that this is not a court does not mean that someone should decide whether it will adjudicate or not,” Deputy Justice Minister Michal Wojcik told Polsat television. “The disciplinary chamber will continue working.”
--With assistance from Piotr Bujnicki.
To contact the reporter on this story: Wojciech Moskwa in Warsaw at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael Winfrey, Andrea Dudik
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