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EU takes Poland to highest court

EU takes Poland to highest court
By Damon Embling
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Move comes amid concerns about rule of law and courts


The EU's taken Poland to the bloc's highest court over judicial reforms. Changes, it's claimed, that violate independence of the courts.

The ruling party moving to lower the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 70 to 65 - some now at risk of being forced out.

The mandate of the head of the court would also be terminated early.

"The Commission believes that the continued application of the retirement regime foreseen in the new law would lead to serious and irreparable damage. This is why the Commission will request the court to take interim measures with the aim of first suspending the application of the provisions on the retirement regime," explained Mina Andreeva, European Commission Deputy Chief Spokesperson.

"Second, ensuring that those judges who are affected by the new law continue to exercise fully their judicial functions, and third stopping the appointments of new judges to the posts of judges prematurely retired."

Poland's ruling party leader stands firm. Stressing the government will forge ahead with the reforms.

Jarosław Kaczynski said: "We have been reforming the Polish judicial system as hatred towards one's own homeland is one of the illnesses, which has affected some judges and which is leading to misfortune. I was dealing with it as a prime minister some years ago."

Poland mirrors the situation of Hungary.

The European Parliament's sanctioned Budapest for flouting rules on democracy, civil rights and corruption.

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