Polish politicians push to backtrack on Supreme Court reforms

General view of Poland's Supreme Court
General view of Poland's Supreme Court Copyright General view of Poland's Supreme CourtREUTERS
By Angela Barnes
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A group of politicians in Poland have proposed changing back Supreme Court reforms after they were criticised by the EU.

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A group of politicians from Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party have put forward a proposition to change some laws that apply to the country's Supreme Court, including changing the article on when judges are required to retire.

In the proposition, criticism from the EU is cited as one of the reasons for changing the law.

A spokesperson from the Supreme Court said the proposed legislative amendment appears to address the main concerns.

It follows legislation that was implemented in the summer obliging Supreme Court judges to retire at 65 instead of 70.

It affected more than a third of judges in Poland's top court.

Critics said at the time that the reform was the latest in a series of government measures aimed at politicising the judiciary.

The ruling conservative government played it down, saying that parliament had the right to determine the retirement age of judges.

Read: Is Poland modernising the judiciary or destroying it? | Euronews answers

Mutual distrust has marked relations between the judiciary and the PiS since the party was established in 2001.

Since taking power in October 2015, the party has introduced new legislation pertaining to the prosecutor’s office, amended the Code of Criminal Procedure and Penal Code, and pushed through new laws on common courts — and the National Judicial Council, the body that appoints judges.

All of the changes made so far give more powers to both parliament, where PiS enjoys a solid majority, and to the justice minister.

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