Poland may ignore the decree of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) concerning its judiciary reforms, says deputy PM Jarosław Gowin. The assessment of the proposal of the Polish Supreme Court (SN) in the ECJ started today in Luxembourg.
“This is a dramatic moment in the history of the EU,” says Polish deputy prime minister and minister of science and higher education Jarosław Gowin in an interview for DoRzeczy. “If the ECJ sanctions the decision of the Polish judges, then the decree will become fuel for Eurosceptic movements in all of Western Europe,” he adds.
Gowin is sure that such a decision would be a precedence in EU history. He also affirms that one precedence would follow another as “Poland’s government will have no choice but to ignore the ECJ’s decree as it is against the Lisbon Treaty and the whole spirit of European integration.”
If the ECJ sanctions the decision of the Polish judges, then the decree will become fuel for Eurosceptic movements in all of Western Europe
If the ECJ accepts the decision of the judges of the Polish SN to block the work of Poland’s new judicial laws, it will be a “contest to the fundamental EU principle of the sovereignty of nations”.
The deputy prime minister calls the judiciary reforms in Poland a “transitional period”. “To be frank, we need to start work on a new constitution,” he argues. The reforms are meant to lead to a new “judiciary order” based on the new constitution.
Earlier this year, 22 Supreme Court judges, nearly a third, were forced into early retirement. There has been opposition to this precedence, however, as some have refused to go. Including chief justice Małgorzata Gersdorf who remains adamant that her term does not expire until 2020 in accordance with Polish Constitution.
The judges turned to the ECJ in hopes of abolishing the new reforms. They also suspended the practice of the new laws for the duration of the ECJ’s assessment, which the Polish government has deemed illegal.